PA Consulting adds Cooper Perkins to innovation offering

26 November 2020 3 min. read
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PA Consulting has announced its second acquisition of 2020, with the purchase of technology development and engineering company Cooper Perkins. The deal will help support PA’s clients in the health, life sciences and consumer sectors.

Founded in 2001, Cooper Perkins is a world-class technology development and engineering practice. It recently developed a novel drug delivery technology for its client Genentech that enables physically limited patients to safely and easily self-administer treatments. Other notable clients include Eli Lilly & Co, FedEx, iRobot, lululemon, Philips, The North Face and Under Armour.

The Boston and San Francisco headquartered company recently teamed up with Essential Design, a part of PA Consulting, to develop the ‘Hydrow.’ The interactive rowing machine the collaboration produced went on to be named one of the Best Inventions of 2020 by Time magazine, and sensing synergies between the two firms, PA has now opted to acquire Cooper Perkins for an undisclosed fee.

PA Consulting adds Cooper Perkins to innovation offering

Ken Toombs, CEO at PA Consulting, commented, “Cooper Perkins’ commitment to honouring engineering aligns with our own brand values, and we look forward to working together to continue creating ingenious products and solutions for our consumer, health and life sciences clients and other industries.”

Cooper Perkins will compliment PA’s market-leading end-to-end innovation capabilities and will support PA clients in the health, life sciences, and consumer sectors. PA is currently responsible for developing world-leading innovations such as Virgin Hyperloop's reinvention of transportation and Ori Biotech’s platform technology to revolutionise cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

Earlier in 2020, PA acquired San Francisco-based Astro Studios, a brand strategy and product design agency that works with the likes of Nike, Bose and Facebook. Following this latest deal, the Cooper Perkins team will work in partnership with Astro Studios, PA’s Cambridge centred Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge, and Boston based Essential Design, which joined PA in 2018.

Gerhard Pawelka, CEO at Cooper Perkins, remarked, “PA Consulting is today exactly what we imagined Cooper Perkins growing into over the next several decades. We are thrilled to join our new friends at PA, and our old friends at Essential and Astro, to help shape an exciting new future. Our team's expertise is founded in a deep understanding of physical sciences and mathematics principals, and we use our engineering expertise to uncover solutions to particularly vexing problems. We look forward to tackling the toughest client challenges as a part of PA.”

Before late 2017, PA Consulting had not completed a major acquisition since 2012. Following a much-needed investment in the employee-owned firm by private equity firm Carlyle, however, the firm enjoyed a new lease of life, and was quick to put the funding to work. While the firm’s acquisition campaign shows little sign of slowing as it aims to grow to a £1 billion firm by 2024, however, reports have continued to surface throughout 2020 the Carlyle is planning to exit.

According to Bloomberg Law, this year PA Consulting is forecast to generate about £120 million pounds of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation. Having reportedly started a sale process for the group in February, these figures were said to have prompted Carlyle to step up its efforts in September. Bloomberg added that the buyout firm’s advisers had “reached out to potential suitors to gauge interest in PA Consulting,” according to sources close to the story.