ER&D vendors continue to be very active in M&As, with many tuck-in acquisitions. AFRY is now in full acquisition mode with six transactions in 2021 YTD. Competitor Sweco has also accelerated with four transactions. Accenture has made an unusual transaction by taking over a manufacturer of industrial automation and robots in Brazil for Accenture Industry X. Finally, Cognizant acquired a significant German automotive ER&D vendor, ESG.
AFRY recently unveiled its strategy: the company plans to become more integrated and positioned around digital technologies and sustainability. AFRY has suffered in the past few years of a lack of organic growth. In 2019, right before the pandemic, the company grew organically by 1.9%, underperforming most competitors. Then came 2020, and AFRY handled the crisis well, with an organic decline of only 6.4%