Royal HaskoningDHV picks up UK-based software consultancy

22 January 2019

Netherlands-headquartered consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has acquired hybrid software and consultancy firm Lanner, for an undisclosed fee. The UK-based firm specialises in predictive simulation for industrial clients.

Engineering and project management firm Royal HaskoningDHV has been committing itself to an on-going digital transformation over the past two years. In 2017, the firm launched its new strategy in 2017 with a clear focus on data and digital. The company made important steps to transform its organisation, introduce a new digital way of working, and co-create with clients and strategic partners (like data intelligence lab HAL24K) to create a new generation of tech solutions which deliver major impacts for businesses across the world.

As part of this, in July 2018 Royal HaskoningDHV acquired data science company Ynformed. Now, as it looks to push on with its agenda for change, the firm has made another addition to its ranks in the shape of UK-based consultancy Lanner. The dual purpose software and consultancy provider possesses a line of simulation software, named WITNESS, which connects physical assets, processes and resources into a single digital model that delivers actionable insights to make business operations and supply chains more resilient and efficient.

Royal HaskoningDHV picks up UK-based software consultancy

With the acquisition of Lanner, Royal HaskoningDHV aims to strengthen its market position in the UK especially in consumer goods, manufacturing, automotive and energy and utilities; it also sees great potential for maritime and aviation. The move also brings opportunities for leveraging Ynformed data-science capabilities and HAL24K’s data analytics capabilities through Lanner’s software solutions. In Asia Pacific, meanwhile, the focus will be on the growing consumer goods market by combining Lanner’s predictive simulation with Royal HaskoningDHV’s parametric business consultancy. Financial details of the deal were not made public.

According to a release accompanying news of the deal, both companies believe their cultures and visions are much aligned – a key aspect of any M&A activity, particularly in the consulting industry – and their customer bases are complementary. Royal HaskoningDHV and Lanner subsequently stated that they feel confident that by joining forces they are able to add additional value to their diverse, global customer base.

Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Erik Oostwegel said of the deal, “Predictive simulation helps to make fact-based investment decisions, improve operational efficiency and embrace Industry 4.0. It allows us to better support our clients on business questions such as ‘what happens if we expand our production capacity’, or ‘what would be the best Industry 4.0 investment for our specific situation’… By combining our extensive engineering and consultancy knowledge with data-driven and technology-based solutions, we are able to better advise and support our clients to run a sustainable business.”

Lanner CEO David Jones added, “This teaming… allows Lanner to strengthen its position as the leading simulation company driving real and deliverable Industry 4.0 certainty and success. Being part of the Royal HaskoningDHV family will provide greater technology and market access, accelerating our vision and business strategy of delivering predictive digital twin technology and applications that future proof our customer’s decision making. This is a real win-win!”

Related: Royal HaskoningDHV joins EV100 global initiative for EV business fleet.


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.”