Capgemini splashes $500 million on US customer engagement firm LiquidHub

09 February 2018

Global consulting firm Capgemini has confirmed the acquisition of LiquidHub, in a deal due to conclude for a $500 million price-tag. The digital customer engagement firm will reinforce Capgemini’s Digital Consulting capabilities in North America and accelerate its portfolio shift in the region.

Building on a 50-year heritage of technology and IT industry-specific expertise, Capgemini’s staff of 200,000 team-members in over 40 countries works to enable organisations to realise their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. The consultancy reported global revenues of €12.5 billion in 2016, and has been looking to build on that momentum over the past 12 months. Along with the broader consulting industry, this has seen Capgemini making a concerted effort to muscle its way into the design and advertising space via a campaign of acquisitions.

Most recently this had seen the firm acquire Lyons Consulting Group, an ecommerce agency, which has since been put to work on numerous holistic design projects, including digital transformations for the Build a Bear group, and jewellery store Claire’s. Capgemini’s digital wing more generally has been involved in numerous large projects over the last year too, including a contract to develop digital solutions for fast food giant McDonald’s. Now, Capgemini has further strengthened its digital consulting capacity, with a particular focus on growth in the US consulting industry, the largest in the world.

Capgemini and LiquiHub

LiquiHub was established in 2000, and today counts industry leaders among its clients notably in financial services, healthcare and life sciences. Headquartered in Philadelphia, USA, with estimated 2017 revenues of around €200 million annually, the firm has recently been expanding its own operations, using the acquisition of Annik, a Seattle-based data analytics firm, at the end of 2016 to grow the company’s workforce by almost 50%. Liquihub’s now 1,600 strong headcount specialises in developing and delivering compelling customer experiences, and staff offices across Philadelphia, including a Delaware outpost, its global HQ in Wayne, and a start-up-style office in the Curtis Center.

Now, the large team of design thinkers, user-experience designers, digital architects and analytics specialists will join Capgemini’s digital teams to assist its clients in enhancing their customer experience offerings. This acquisition aligns with Capgemini’s growth plans focusing on digital and cloud consulting in North America, while also strengthening LiquiHub’s own capacity to expand.

The transaction will conclude in the next couple of months, at which point Capgemini are set to shell out $500 million to complete the purchase, encouraged by what the French-headquartered consultancy sees as multiple opportunities for scalability and synergy. By leveraging its industry knowledge and extensive client experience, LiquidHub has already developed a series of marketing, sales, commerce, and service solutions across the entire engagement lifecycle, while building a set of sought after platforms-as-a-services for complete customer management. These include a Speciality Pharma Insights Platform, and a Customer Acquisition Platform which delivers seamless, secure digital customer engagement for clients in regulated industries, among others. 

“LiquidHub’s passion to help clients uncover new ways to engage with their customers, supported by robust digital expertise and a strong track record in complex technology execution, was a natural fit with the end to end digital services that Capgemini provides enterprises around the world,” Paul Hermelin, Capgemini’s Chairman and CEO, commented.

Jonathan Brassington, CEO and Co-Founder, LiquidHub, added, “The challenge of omni-channel is connecting all the parts and pieces to deliver a unified and pleasurable experience to your customers. It’s not physical or digital; it’s the blended experience. The full spectrum of Capgemini’s digital transformation solutions and services coupled with its global reach will allow us to augment and expand our offerings for our current and future clients around the world.”


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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”