Accenture to buy French digital agency Altima, adds 370 staff

23 October 2017 Consultancy.uk

Accenture have announced their intention to acquire French digital commerce agency Altima. The purchase will further expand Accenture Interactive’s customer experiences capabilities to help brands win and retain customers.

Following the announcement earlier in 2017 that they would be spending $1.8 billion on acquisitions, Accenture is set to add to its ongoing spree, having entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire full-service digital commerce agency, Altima. Headquartered in France and with offices in China, Canada and the United States, the purchase of the agency would boost Accenture Interactive’s capabilities in France and other key markets to help brands attract consumers and turn them into loyal customers with differentiated and compelling digital experiences.

Founded in 1997, Altima has a team of 370 people working from offices in Roubaix, Paris and Lyon (France), Montréal (Canada), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), and New York (US). The agency creates and adapts experiences for eCommerce, mobile and in-store commerce. Its work for prestigious French and global brands has been recognised with numerous awards, most recently the 2016 Trophées E-Commerce in the user experience design category and a 2016 W3 Award for design and user experience. Altima’s offering spans experience strategy, user experience design, digital marketing services and multichannel commerce platform implementation.

Accenture to buy French digital agency Altima

In France, the Altima team would present Accenture Interactive with an opportunity to better help companies grow their customer experience offering and expand into other markets. In China, it would likely boost Accenture Interactive’s services in commerce and content, which are critical areas for Chinese companies. In Canada, Altima recently merged its team with Montréal-based web marketing agency Konversion. Upon the completion of the purchase, that joint team would strengthen the Accenture Interactive end-to-end digital marketing services available to Canadian clients, in both English and French.

The deal with Accenture requires prior consultation with the relevant works councils and would be subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Once completed, Altima would be the seventeenth acquisition Accenture Interactive has made since 2013. Recent acquisitions include design agencies The Monkeys/Maud and Karmarama, and Brand, which have collectively made Accenture Interactive, the world’s largest digital agency.

Explaining the opportunity on offer via the deal, Christian Nibourel, country managing director for Accenture in France and Benelux, said, “France is home to many of the world’s most exciting and successful brands. At the same time, it’s a market where many international brands are trying to gain market share. The acquisition of Altima would put Accenture Interactive in France in an excellent position to help businesses innovate the digital experiences and expand their footprint, locally and internationally.”

The move comes as part of a broader trend in the consulting industry. Changing client demands for integrated digital services, as well as dynamics in the professional services industry including globalisation and blending of service areas means their role is becoming increasingly similar to ad agencies. Experts have for a long time speculated that bigger acquisitions are to follow over the coming years, with global systems integrators and IT firms growth meaning even the “Big Six” of the advertising world could soon fall prey to being bought out, as professional services firms seek to tap into the lucrative market.

Last month Accenture also acquired IBB, an American and Australian consulting firm, while in September the firm's UK arm purchased Investit, a consultancy firm for investment industry.

News