London cybersecurity consultancy CNS Group purchased by Six Degrees

18 September 2018

Global cloud managed service provider Six Degrees has completed the scoop of London-based cybersecurity firm CNS Group, for an undisclosed fee. The deal will see Six Degrees bolster its cybersecurity offering, leveraging CNS’ 50 employees and its cybersecurity operations centre, among other resources it has subsequently acquired.

Founded in London in 1999, as Convergent Network Solutions, the company now known as CNS Group was initially formed to address the needs of public sector and financial organisations to secure their networks. While the firm has always been engaged in some form of technological security, however, as with consulting lines in multiple other sectors, digitalisation has transformed the demands now placed upon the company by clients. Following a number of high-profile hacks hitting large companies in recent years, cybersecurity is now at the forefront of many companies’ agendas.

As a result of buoyant demand in this respect, CNS Group has seen a number of developments in recent years, which will have made the firm increasingly attractive to buyers. In 2015 CNS moved its Security Operations Centre to the secure facility in Camberley and became an accredited PSN Services provider, before winning Best Managed Security Service at the SC Magazine awards in 2016. Building on this success, further spikes in demand saw the group build a new Enhanced Combined Security Operations Centre in Hampshire, while the firm now boasting a headcount of some 50 professionals, and annual revenues of roughly £7 million.

London cybersecurity consultancy CNS Group purchased by Six Degrees

This understandably drew the attentions of the Six Degrees Group, an international cloud managed service provider delivering enterprise business and digital transformation, workplace productivity and compliance solutions to customers. Six Degrees, which is also headquartered in London, snapped up CNS with a view to bolstering its cybersecurity offering, in a move which will see all of CNS’ staff relocated to Six Degrees’ frontline. The deal, which concluded for an undisclosed fee, will also see Six Degrees look ramp up its security portfolio, providing government-accredited managed security services through CNS Group's dedicated cybersecurity operations centre.

David Howson, Six Degrees CEO, commented on the deal, "The increasingly complex cybersecurity threat landscape is a major challenge for businesses, which struggle to align IT resources against the risks they face. Existing clients want to place more of their IT estate with us, and security is a vital part of the picture. CNS Group's loyal client base, serviced by a strong management team and talented staff, provides the perfect fit to enable Six Degrees to offer a broader set of cybersecurity services."

Stating that she expects the integration will be “smooth and successful”, Shannon Simpson, CEO of CNS Group, added, "Joining Six Degrees represents the next step in our strategic plan to increase our market share and further enhance our flagship cybersecurity services… With our shared focus on UK data sovereignty and protecting businesses, this is a great move. Working with Six Degrees will enable us to bring our highly accredited security offerings to all the services they offer, and we will give clients additional peace of mind and assurance that their data assets are safe."


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.”