Cegeka closes KPN Consulting deal to create Benelux powerhouse

01 April 2020 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read

Four months after announcing the deal, Cegeka and KPN ICT Consulting have closed their transaction, creating one of the largest IT consultancy en services companies in the Benelux.

Karim Henkens, the director of Cegeka in the Netherlands, is delighted with the joining of forces. “This sees the number of employees in the Netherlands grow by some 750 to approximately 1,200, creating the size and platform to qualify for the largest and most impactful projects in the country.”

To this end, the revamped Cegeka can now offer the full suite of digital transformation services and solutions. While the firm is able to support its client end-to-end in its home market Belgium, where Cegeka was founded in 1992 and now has 1,300 employees, up until recently the IT services player missed some capacity in the Netherlands, a market larger than that of Belgium. 

“We had already built up a solid track record, especially in the segment of housing corporations and IT outsourcing,” Henkens said in discussion with Dutch platform Consultancy.nl. “When we saw the information memorandum from KPN ICT Consulting, we immediately realised – this is exactly what we as Cegeka still need to achieve our ambitions.”

Cegeka closes KPN Consulting deal to create Benelux powerhouse

Fast forward more than a year since they first saw the deal documents, and now the combined company positions itself as a partner that can guide clients across their full digital transformation journey. Henkens: “Nowadays, clients are looking for a one-stop shop, a trusted partner for their IT challenges. We can now plan digital roadmaps with them at the front, and then implement the full digitisation need at the back and unburden their IT departments with managed services.” 

Stijn Bijnens, the CEO of Cegeka, added: “This acquisition is a major boost for our capacity in the fields of strategic IT advice, workplace and cloud migrations, cyber security and support. We are now ready to provide customers with end-to-end support in shaping their IT roadmap.” 

As part of the integration, KPN ICT Consulting – formerly Getronics Consulting – will be rebranded as Cegeka. The Call2 subsidiary of the company will continue to operate under its current brand. The 1.200 employees will work from offices in Veenendaal, Eindhoven, Zoetermeer, Groningen and Apeldoorn. 

A cultural match

Jeffrey Smit has been leading KPN ICT Consulting for three years, and has been involved in the deal process since the very start. He said that when strategising its M&A plans, the IT consultancy not only looked at hard factors such as strategic fit and financials, but equally so to the cultural fit.

“This is a crucial step towards fulfilling our ambition of reaching the top in the Netherlands, built around the strategic principle of a strong local presence.”
– Karim Henkens

Speaking with Consultancy.nl he said: “Cegeka clearly stood out. Because of the strategic vision, because it also is an IT services firm that works closely with its customer, but also because of the excellent cultural fit. Combined, this gave KPN the confidence that this would be an ideal match for both our customers and our employees.”

Asked if they considered delaying the closing due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has cast a shadow of uncertainty on the economy, Henken and Smit acknowledged that it obviously has come to the table in the boardrooms of both companies. However, despite the challenging current environment, the two firms decided to push through with their closing, in what they believe is a vote of confidence in their belief of the strategic value added of the merger, and of the strong underlying factors driving demand for digital transformation services.

Fully aligned to the need for social distancing, this morning the two directors remotely signed the closing documents. “We do of course look forward to shaking hands in person,” said Smit laughing. Henkens added, “This is a crucial step towards fulfilling our ambition of reaching the top in the Netherlands!”

The deal sees Cegeka become a preferred partner of KPN for the provision of IT consulting and support services.