Moorhouse Consulting joins forces with SQS and Assystem Technologies

20 March 2018

Moorhouse Consulting has been acquired by Software Quality Systems. Following SQS’ own acquisition by Assystem Technologies, the trio will now combine to form a new entity, offering up a holistic end-to-end transformation package for a world-wide client base.

Established in 2004, Moorhouse is a transformation consultancy which works to deliver complex transformational projects in key areas including strategic design, change management, customer journey improvement, digital and technology transformations, post-merger & acquisition integration, programme management and performance improvement. Recently, the firm’s position in the sector was underlined when it was listed as one of the top 25 healthcare consultancies
 in the UK – as the NHS continues to engage the consulting industry in order to eke out potential savings.

Now, Software Quality Company (SQS), a IT company headquartered in Cologne, with another office in Utrecht, has agreed to acquire Moorhouse for an undisclosed fee. SQS is one of the market leaders in delivering digital solutions servicing clients in the UK, EMEA and US, and as demand for digital transformation consulting (a $23 billion industry) shows no sign of slowing, expansion has become a necessity for the firm to meet the needs of its customers.

Moorhouse Consulting deal creates new entity with Assystem and SQS

SQS was itself recently the subject of an acquisition, picked up by Assystem Technologies for a reported £281 million. This deal will see the three entities combine, to form a new group. The organisation, which commands a combined revenue of over €1 billion, will aim to converge digital and physical work, led through an expanding consulting division. According to the firms, the merger hopes to create a multifaceted global business, capable of delivering a holistic offering to clients based on a shared culture of technical know-how, innovation and quality service provision.

Moorhouse will also continue operate as a separate business, however, and the firm’s Partner team was keen to state its excitement about the opportunities that this new grouping will provide, as the firm looks to build on its previous growth.

According a combined statement from Moorhouse’s leadership team of Stephen Vinall, Jon Russell, Richard Goold, Richard Jones, and John Lunn, “This year we have not only increased our number of clients, but also significantly broadened the range of services we offer… This next phase of the Moorhouse journey will provide opportunities for all of us to not only develop our business, but also to continue to develop as individuals and as extraordinary leaders.”

New blend

Commenting on the firm’s sale individually, Moorhouse Partner Richard Goold added, “In combining with SQS we will be creating a true ‘transformation leader’ that converges the digital and physical worlds, providing assurance across products and processes, from design to physical build. We are delighted to be joining with a business that shares our passion for delivering technical excellence, continued innovation and the highest standards of client service.”

Diederik Vos, CEO, SQS, meanwhile said of the deal, "The acquisition of Moorhouse Consulting, an organisation which already has an outstanding and established reputation in the UK, gives us the capability to support companies’ urgent needs to transform from strategy through to delivery, reacting quickly to market changes without sacrificing quality. We warmly welcome the highly talented team to SQS and look forward to continuing to build upon Moorhouse’s client base and excellent reputation.”

The UK wing of M&A advisory specialists Clearwater International supported the sell-side throughout the process. The Clearwater International team was led by Partner James Barraclough, with support from Partner Marcus Archer, Associate Directors Dan Rossington and Mark Maunsell, and Executive Gregory Cornes.

James Barraclough, Partner, Clearwater International said, “It’s been a pleasure to see Moorhouse develop as business. Having previously advised Moorhouse on the buyout from BT, it’s great to see the company realise its growth strategy, and build itself a strong platform within the consultancy market. The combination with SQS will provide a compelling offering to clients and we wish them every success in the future.”


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.”