The M&A advisors behind the Catalyst - Sionic Advisors deal

15 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

UK-based Catalyst Development – which has recently been expanding its capacity with a campaign of acquisitions – has joined forces with Sionic Advisors, to forge a company of over 300 people. A host of professional services firms advised on the merger, with PwC, Alvarez & Marsal, Eversheds Sutherland, Livingstone Partners, GRAPH Strategy, Stratton, Tosca Debt Capital and Lloyds Bank all playing roles.

Following a sustained period of growth, at the start of April 2019 Catalyst Development confirmed it is merging with Sionic Advisors, a US consultancy which similarly serves the financial services sector. Headquartered in New Jersey, the firm was founded in 2014, and has since grown to host 160 professionals with offices in New York, Toronto, London, Madrid, Zurich, Singapore, Stockholm, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. It specialises in numerous service lines, including, among others: financial crime and compliance, client lifecycle management, and strategic technology.

After joining forces, the combined group will command a revenue of over $60 million and a staff base of more than 300 professionals, from locations across North America, Europe and Asia. The deal was backed by private equity firm and long-term Catalyst investor Livingbridge, a mid-market private equity firm with offices in the UK, the US and Australia, investing in fast growing companies valued up to £200 million. 

The M&A advisors behind the Catalyst - Sionic Advisors deal

Livingbridge Partner Pete Clarke commented on the merger, “Both firms are experts in creating value for clients in a highly demanding sector. We are delighted to support the combined international ambitions of Catalyst and Sionic, including from our US operations located near the Sionic New York HQ. This is just the beginning for the group, which will continue to grow rapidly and target further strategic acquisitions.”

A number of other professional services firms also provided insight which helped to forge the deal. The Corporate Finance arm of PwC, one of the four largest accounting and consulting firms globally, provided financial advisory support, in a team led by Simon Viner and Usman Choudhary. International professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal also advised on the merger, with a team consisting of Adrian Balcombe, Vladimir Halas, Simon Gore, and Rachel Copley.

Commercial due diligence for the transaction was performed by Jeff Merkle, Mark Stein and James Tetherton from Graph Strategy; Stratton HR’s Anna Cornwallis provided strategic and tactical HR support for the move. At the same time, legal advice was provided by Ian Moore and Dan Shilvock of law firm Eversheds Sutherland. MHP Communications provided financial PR support.

Livingstone Partners, an international M&A and debt advisory, supported the process, with a team consisting of Alex John, Will Evans, Neil Smith. The debt facility for the merger was meanwhile provided by Tosca Debt Capital and Lloyds Bank.


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