NEWS1 December 2020

Jacobs acquires majority stake in PA Consulting

M&A News UK

UK – Professional services company Jacobs has agreed to invest in management consultancy PA Consulting in a deal that values PA at £1.825bn.

Jacobs will acquire a 65% stake in PA Consulting through a ‘private equity style’ investment. The current majority stakeholder The Carlyle Group will exit and the remaining 35% stake will be held by PA employees.

PA Consulting owns customer insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler, digital agency We Are Friday and innovation and product design company, Essential Design. 

The strategic partnership with Jacobs will allow PA to expand geographically, particularly in the US, and make further acquisitions. PA will retain its current brand following the investment.

John Alexander, chair of PA, said: “Jacobs stood out during the selection process because of the close affinity between our respective values and their reputation as one of the leading global providers of technical and professional services to clients across the public and private sectors.”

Carlyle invested in PA Consulting in 2015 through its buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners IV. PA has achieved compound annual revenue growth of 12% since 2016.

Ken Toombs, chief executive, PA Consulting, said the deal would offer “access to Jacobs’ global platform and client base” and position the company “for the next phase of growth”.

Steve Demetriou, chair and chief executive, Jacobs, said: “We are excited by this partnership and the opportunity to set a new industry benchmark together for technically-driven solutions that drive value for our clients, employees and investors.”

The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including shareholder consent and regulatory approval. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter in 2021.