2016 reached a nine-year high in consulting M&A volumes, according to Equiteq’s Global Consulting Mergers & Acquisitions Report 2017. Despite deal activity falling in the quarter prior to the US Presidential election and the UK’s Brexit vote, deal volumes were up 1%.
Outperforming the S&P 500, the strength of the consulting sector was further demonstrated as the Equiteq Consulting Share Price Index ended 2016 up 14%, a 10-year high.
The top consulting segments for deal activity were the rapidly evolving Management Consulting, IT Services and Media segments. Management Consulting saw a 2% growth in deal volumes and a huge 32% increase in the share-price index.
David Jorgenson, Equiteq CEO, commented:
‘We are seeing unprecedented diversification amongst acquirers of knowledge-led businesses such as Management Consultants, Media Agencies, IT Services, Engineering Consultants and HR Consulting. As a result this is driving convergence between consulting sectors and creating hybrid business models with creative, technology consulting and managed services. This convergence trend - driven by digital disruption, changing client demands and the search for growth - is blurring traditional boundaries.’
Regionally, 44% of all deals took place in North America, which enjoyed the highest M&A value, although Europe (38% of deals) and Asia-Pacific (9% of deals) enjoyed stronger M&A growth than North America. Deal activity was particularly robust in the UK where the number of completed transactions increased by 20% over the year.
Cross-border deal activity remained strong, highlighting the global nature of M&A activity in consulting. Despite some major political upheavals, cross-border deal activity accounted for 28% of all deal volumes, up from 27% in 2015.
Commenting on the outlook for 2017, Jorgenson continues:
‘The new year has already seen high-profile deals across segments of the consulting market, as well as strong deal activity amongst high-profile PE investors. We expect that this robust demand for M&A will continue over the next twelve months.’
Equiteq’s Global Consulting M&A Report 2017 is available to download for free by clicking here.
Equiteq is the global leader in providing strategic advisory and Mergers & Acquisition services to consulting and IT services firms. We focus 100% on helping owners fulfil their exit goals. We do this by achieving successful sales that deliver maximum value for firm owners and by providing strategic advice on what will best yield value growth and
About Equiteq’s Global Consulting M&A Report 2017
The Global Consulting M&A Report 2017 is the only publicly available information on the Global M&A market. It covers knowledge-led firms across all major industry segments including: management consulting, engineering, HR consulting, IT services and media agencies. The full report can be downloaded free from http://www.equiteq.com/equiteq-edge/m-a-intelligence/2017-ma-report/