Digital consultancy onepoint buys weave, adds 400 experts in France

24 September 2018

French digital consultancy firm onepoint has acquired Weave, a Paris-based professional services firm, for a fee of €120 million. The bolt-on adds more than 400 consultants, data scientists and technologists to its team, lifting its headcount beyond the mark of 2,300 consultants and staff.

With offices in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Tunisia and Australia, onepoint is one of France’s larger home grown consulting firms. The company, founded in 2002 at the age of 22 by current managing director David Layani, supports clients across sectors with business and digital transformation services. The firm’s business portfolio spans propositions such as process management, risk & compliance, innovation, lean & six sigma, agile, project management and human capital, while its larger technology portfolio comprises propositions such as digital strategy, big data, enterprise infrastructure, architecture, systems implementation and solutions.

On Thursday last week, Layani revealed that the digital consultancy has completed the largest acquisition in its history, significantly larger than the pickups of Natéa Consulting and EMS in 2016, and also larger than that of Belgium’s Vision IT Group in 2015. The latest deal adds a group of over 400 to its team, taking its headcount to around 2,300 professionals. While Layani is delighted with the deal, he added that it marks a step of a longer journey with the aim of becoming “a European leader in business transformation.” Commenting on the aspiration going forward, Layani highlighted that the ambition is to reach the milestone of €1 billion turnover within a horizon of five years. 

Onepoint has purchased 100% of Weave’s share capital from NiXEN, (a private equity firm that acquired a majority 60% stake in 2014), Didier Rousseau, Weave’s chief executive and founder, and the firm’s 30+ equity partners. With the addition, onepoint’s revenue jumps to above the €300 million mark, nearly double the revenue booked in 2016 and more than five times turnover booked in 2010.Digital consultancy onepoint buys weavePrior to closing the deal, Layani and Rousseau behind the scenes meticulously assessed the impact the joining of forces would have; “We have identified all the synergies and opportunities for both companies, as well as the competitive advantages for our customers and for our teams.” The two concluded that both firms share “a common ambition” and that their service portfolios are complementary. “We both want to reinvent the traditional models in the consulting market,” explained Layani.

He added that, against a backdrop of consulting acquisitions of such scale struggling to achieve their predefined benefits, he is confident the integration will run smoothly. “The organisational models and cultures of our two companies have a lot in common: open companies, places of open innovation, ecosystem of start-ups and managerial culture based on authenticity, commitment and expertise and know-how.” Reconfirming this, Rousseau highlighted the fact that all partners of Weave have decided to make the transfer and invest into the firm, in order to become a shareholder. Further, to support buy-in, all of Weave’s employees will over the next two years be able to subscribe to onepoint’s capital – around 15% of the company is held by partners and employees.

Digital transformation

The move comes at a time when digital transformation consulting is booming, both in France and beyond. According to data from analyst firm Source Global research, the digital transformation consultancy market is worth $44 billion today, up from $22 billion a year previous. Meanwhile, in France, Consult'in France, the association for management consulting firms in the country, estimates that digital transformation is the fastest growing segment in France’s €6.5 billion management consulting industry. 

The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is accelerating,” said Layani, “and by joining forces, we will be better positioned to support our end clients with an end-to-end offering, from strategy and design through to implementation and execution.” Rousseau added; “We will be able to concretise strategic recommendations by mobilising business experience and deep technology capabilities.”

For an overview of all deals in France's consulting market see the page M&A in France.

PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI deal

09 April 2019

Accounting and consulting firm PwC has bolstered its Salesforce portfolio in the Benelux with the acquisition of ABSI. The move adds around 100 consultants and technology experts to its Salesforce practices in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. 

The move comes at a time when demand for Salesforce implementation services is rising rapidly. Salesforce is a provider of cloud-based systems that help companies build and nurture their (potential) clients through a rigorous and personalised customer relationship management approach. Over 150,000 companies today use Salesforce CRM to support their sales, service, commerce, marketing and e-commerce objectives. 

In the Benelux, ABSI was Salesforce’s first certified partner, back in 2002, and the firm has since grown into one of the region’s larger IT consultancies dedicated to the Salesforce platform. The company specialises in the implementation of Salesforce systems, the design of blueprints and business processes, the migration of data, and application integration.

“In a world that is digitising, organisations want to offer a personalised experience to customers, employees and business partners,” explained Maarten van de Pol, who leads PwC Advisory in the Netherlands. “The technological ecosystem of Salesforce meets this need – with the acquisition, PwC is strengthening its fast-growing digital transformation services on the Salesforce backbone.”PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI dealThe integration sees ABSI’s 100-odd employees in Belgium (where the company was founded in 1995 in Brussels), the Netherlands (located in Nieuwegein, close to Utrecht) and France (Paris) join PwC’s ranks. As well as adding deep Salesforce expertise to its offering, PwC also expects to benefit from ABSI’s experience and propositions in the area of Dell Boomi, Sitecore, ServiceMax, Riva, Neurored and Ebsta. 

Doubi Ajami, founder and CEO van ABSI, remarked on the deal; “PwC and ABSI complement each other perfectly. Together we will be able to better serve our customers. While our focus remains 100% on Salesforce, thanks to the power and network of PwC we will also be able to work on broader projects at a strategic digital level.” 

PwC’s acquisitions in the Benelux build on previous Salesforce deals globally. At the end of 2017 the consulting firm for instance acquired UK-based cDecisions, shortly after it also bolted-on a Salesforce specialist in South Africa. The investments are part of PwC’s broader strategy to ramp up its technology consulting arm, amid a booming market for digital transformation services.  

Recently, PwC was named one of the globe’s top advisory and implementation partners for the Salesforce platform.