Equiteq advises on deals for Ducker Worldwide and Axentel Technologies

27 February 2018 Consultancy.uk 7 min. read
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Global M&A advisory firm Equiteq has advised on the completion of two deals for professional services firms. Consulting and research Ducker Worldwide has been purchased by Frontier Strategy Group, while technology services provider Axentel Technologies has been acquired by Park Place Technologies.

Equiteq is an international consulting and IT services sector M&A specialist advising owners of knowledge intensive businesses around the world from offices in London, New York, Singapore and Sydney. The firm works to help owners boost their chances of achieving their value and exit objectives.

Recently, the firm advised on numerous M&A activities, including a duo of deals in Australia – one to expand Mercer’s Australian alliance, and one to grow Grant Thornton’s regional network – as well as RSBG’s purchase of McBains Cooper.

Ducker Worldwide sold to Frontier Strategy Group

Frontier Strategy Group (FSG), a portfolio company of Boathouse Capital, has completed its purchase of Ducker Worldwide, a market research and strategy consulting firm. The transaction closed earlier in February, and sees Ducker, founded in 1961, purchased to bolster FSG’s cloud-based technology platform, macro-economic insights, and expertise aligning business strategy and operations, as FSG prepares for growth in 2018. Ducker’s industry focus, datasets and consulting expertise is seen as a key asset by FSG.

Founded in 2007 and based in Washington DC, FSG has built strong client communities in the healthcare, consumer products, industrials, and technology sectors. The company has offices in London, Singapore and New York, following over a decade of expansion, which has seen the firm FSG gain multinational clients in emerging markets across Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Throughout its five decades in business, Ducker Worldwide has provided clients with bespoke market research, commercial due diligence, transaction advisory and strategy consulting services to the automotive, heavy equipment and building products sectors. The US-headquartered firm boasts deep industry and analytical expertise, proprietary datasets, and offices around the world, including Paris, Berlin, Bangalore, Shanghai and London.Ducker Worldwide joins Frontier Strategy Group“This acquisition is designed to maximise the potential of our combined company to better serve our clients and accelerate growth” said Richard Leggett, FSG’s CEO. “The demands of growth and forces of change facing multinational company executives and investment professionals get tougher every year, and by bringing together FSG and Ducker’s highly complementary offerings, areas of expertise and global footprint, we can immediately provide a comprehensive set of solutions that address our clients’ global strategic priorities and growth mandates.”

Regarding Equiteq’s role in the transaction, advising the sell side on the deal, Joanne Ulnick, CEO of Ducker Worldwide, said, “We selected Equiteq based on their industry expertise and track record. They worked with us for 18 months prior to embarking on the transaction process and helped us to implement business optimization initiatives that made a real difference when it came to sale. The way Equiteq positioned our business, the professionalism and tenacity with which they ran the process, and the unwavering support gave us confidence throughout this complex transaction.”

Adam Tindall, Director, based in Equiteq’s New York office, added, “We were able to leverage our knowledge of the market and experience of selling knowledge-focused businesses to identify acquirers that fitted both strategically and culturally. The combination of Ducker and FSG offer the full spectrum of services multinational company executives need to make decisions in today’s global high-stakes markets and we wish the newly combined team the very best of luck.”

Park Place Technologies buys Axentel Technologies

The global appetite for acquisitions of technology firms has continued over from last year, into 2018, with a succession of recent deals. The latest of these sees Axentel Technologies, an IT firm specialising in high-level maintenance services in Asia, purchased by US firm Park Place Technologies, the world's largest pure-play post-warranty data centre maintenance organisation.  

Founded in 2005 by current leader Jerry Yiu, Singapore headquartered Axentel has recently been enjoying high top-line growth, with recurring revenues and strong renewal rates. The IT service provider for hardware maintenance services has become a leading provider of IT lifecycle solutions in South-East Asia and Hong-Kong, serving 210 customers, which are typically large international organisations, in 28 countries.

This is a region that buyer Park Place Technologies is keen to continue expansion in. Founded in 1991, the professional services firm works to provide an alternative to post-warranty storage, server and networking hardware maintenance for IT data centres. Park Place has already commenced the building of a customer base across Asia and the Middle East, pushing their global footprint to 30,000 data centres in more than 100 countries.Park Place Technologies buys Axentel Technologies

According to Chris Adams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Park Place Technologies, the acquisition of Axentel is a major opportunity for the group to strengthen its foothold in Asia and broaden its portfolio of capabilities in the region. Adams said, “The acquisition of Axentel is a major move towards establishing a leadership position in the region, enhancing our service offering and better serving more customers around the world."

Once more, Equiteq acted as advisors to the sell side. Jean-Louis Michelet, Managing Director of Equiteq Asia-Pacific, said of the deal, “I have been impressed by the strength of the strategic rationale of this deal, as well as the convergence between the two organisations in terms of corporate culture, values, and business development strategy.”

Regarding Equiteq’s role, Jerry Yiu stated, “While joining Park Place looked from the outset like the perfect strategic move for us to make, there were quite a few complex issues that had to be addressed. Throughout the process, the Equiteq team have done a great job at preparing us, assisting us and ironing out all difficulties as they arose. I am sincerely grateful to them for having made this deal possible.”