HR technology consultancy Cedar Consulting bought by Version 1

12 June 2018

Dublin based tech outsourcing firm Version 1 has bridged the Irish Sea with a multimillion Euro spending spree in recent months. The firm has further added to its tally of UK purchases with the acquisition of British consultancy Cedar Consulting.

Established 20 years ago, London headquartered firm Cedar Consulting provides application, business, technology and training consulting services, with a focus on Oracle solutions, including Cloud, Taleo and PeopleSoft offerings. The UK-origin firm serves the Human Resources (HR) and technology needs of clients globally from its offices in the UK, Switzerland, Australia and India, and employs more than 80 people.

As well as being commended for its performance by clients, Cedar has annual revenues of its own of €6 million, and is profitable, making it an attractive target for potential acquisition strategies, and now the firm has been purchased by Version 1, which is currently forecasting full-year revenues of €120 million (£105 million) in 2018, and has been on the lookout for deals since completing a €90 million funding round last year.

Simon Wragg and Tom O’Connor

Having entered the UK market five years ago, the Irish professional services outfit now employs more than 400 employees at offices in Belfast, Edinburgh, London and the Midlands as well as another 700 in the Republic. The deal for Cedar brings the workforce at Version 1 to 1,100, further bolstering its outsourcing, IT services and technology transformation offerings and expanding its UK customer base to more than 250 companies.

Amid a concerted push to expand across the UK and mainland Europe ahead of Brexit, the Dublin headquartered firm has also confirmed it has a pipeline of UK acquisitions planned for 2018 and beyond as part of its strategy to drive growth.

The company's chief executive Tom O'Connor said, "We see Brexit as a unique challenge which must be overcome in order to grow our business and continue to expand in the UK market. The current business marketplace is challenging. When Brexit is factored into the mix, the landscape becomes uncertain and complex, especially in Northern Ireland. But it can be overcome and it will not stop us delivering for our UK customers.''

Cedar will now become part of Version 1's rapidly-growing ERP practice – with Cedar having won numerous awards in the field previously – while Cedar's directors Simon Wragg and Graham Varley will join Version 1's management team. The pair will continue to manage customer relationships, business development and service delivery excellence in addition to helping oversee the successful integration of the two companies.

O’Connor added, “The Cedar acquisition not only expands our rapidly growing footprint in the UK but also brings a team with market leading expertise and specialist skills in HR transformation, which will be of great benefit to our Northern Ireland customers. We're very excited about our 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.”