Sweco Was Profitable in Q4 despite the Write-Down Swedish infrastructure engineering Sweco remained profitable despite a
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French ER&D service vendor, Segula Technologies, acquired the automotive unit of Safran Engineering Services in Valladolid, Spain. The acquired unit is small (with a headcount of 81 engineers). It mostly services Renault.
Unsurprisingly, DXC Technology turned down Atos’ offer to acquire the firm. DXC considered it, USD 10bn, as reported by Reuters, as too low. The company considers it is going through a turn-around. Also, 16 months into the job, DXC’s CEO, Mike Salvino, believed it was too early to sell the Tysons, VA-based firm.
In the past three years, Cognizant has been building Softvision as a new EPAM. Like EPAM, Softvision has grown very fast: Softvision 10-12k employees currently, from 2.8k employees at the time of its acquisition in late 2018.
Charles River Labs (CRL) will gain further expertise for biotechs. The company is to acquire San Francisco-based Distributed Bio, a large molecules specialist firm focusing on antibody discovery. Distributed Bio will become part of CRL’s core R&D business, Discovery & Safety Assessment.
Following a Reuters news release, European IT services vendor Atos confirmed it had submitted to the Board of DXC an unsolicited non-binding offer to acquire the firm. The offer is at a preliminary stage. Reuters estimated Atos’ offer to USD 10bn.
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Jacobs surprised us with its intention to acquire a 65% stake in PA Consulting for USD 1.8bn (enterprise value of the stake). For those of us that have been in the industry, we know that consulting acquisitions can be risky. Think of EDS and AT Kearney, Capgemini and Ernst & Young Consulting, or IBM and PwC Consulting.
Globallogics made an acquisition in IT services with ECS. ECS brings precious digital capabilities including cloud and agile/DevOps.
Alten is to make its largest acquisition, with Milan-headquartered SDG Group. SDG has revenues of EUR 76m and a headcount of 950. Its operating margin is ~10%. We estimate the price paid by Alten to ~EUR 60m.
At first glance, SII performed very well during calendar Q3 2020 (corresponding to its Q2 FY21). Revenues were down by only 4.5% yoy at cc/cs. By comparison, Alten’s revenues were down by 19%! SII continued to overperform its French and European peers by a very significant margin.
We rarely talked about Denmark-based NNIT. The company is the former IT captive of Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, thus the name NNIT, which stands for Novo Nordisk IT.
The more we get to know Sweco, the more we think it is similar to Alten. Sweco impressed in Q3 2020 by limiting its revenue decline by 2% yoy at cc/cs, to SEK 4,547m (~USD 526m).
Tuck-in M&As continued despite the pandemic and the pending US elections today, with Belcan, AFRY, and Semcon active in the past week.
Europe has now entered its second lockdown. The lockdowns have different restrictions levels and different lengths. The UK and France are running for the full month of November. Officials in the two countries have, however, warned the lockdown might last longer, until Christmas at least.
AFRY, once again, protected its bottom line during the pandemic. The company limited its Q3 2020 EBITA margin decline to 40 bps to 6.7%. AFRY reduced its expenses by SEK 480m in Q3, a level similar to QA (SEK 490m).
Assystem announced its results two days before France back into a full lockdown. Despite a good financial performance in Q3 2020, the company changed, again, its guidance for full-year 2020.
We think Sweco has all options open for significant M&A activity. It has been five years since Sweco acquired Grontmij, bringing 6,000 employees and revenues of EUR 659m.
Sweco’s latest acquisition raises many questions. The company acquired a Norwegian architect firm, TAG Arkitekter (TAG).
Wipro joined many competitors in acquiring a semiconductor engineering specialist. ER&D service vendors are rushing into this market, attracted by its long-term growth potential. Indeed, we estimate to ten the number of semi-conductor M&As since 2015. Altran, through the Aricent, GlobalEdge, and SciConTech transactions, has been the most acquisitive. However, all the industry’s brand names have been active, e.g., Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, Alten, LTTS, and Cyient.
Accenture made another acquisition for Industry X. The new firm acquired by Accenture is named Myrtle Consulting and is headquartered in Houston, TX. We estimate its headcount to below 200. It is a consultancy firm.