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New Owner and Investment for PA Consulting

November 30 2020

UK-based management consultancy PA Consulting, parent of a number of data and insight businesses, has changed ownership, with The Carlyle Group making an exit and global tech and professional services firm Jacobs taking a 65% stake.

Ken ToombsThe transaction values PA at £1.825bn and is expected to close by the end of Q1 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and shareholder consent. New majority owner Jacobs boasts around $14bn in revenue and a workforce of more than 55,000 people, with services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.

PA says the new partnership and investment will help it to 'accelerate its growth plan through geographic expansion, particularly in the US... further enhance its market-leading capabilities in innovation, design, digital and technology', and allow additional acquisitions. In the last three years, it has acquired British consumer MR firm Sparkler, Boston-based innovation research, strategy and product design business Essential Design, CX agency We Are Friday, US-based specialist innovation business 4iNNO, and brand strategy and product design agency Astro Studios.

As part of the deal, Jacobs will provide debt financing to PA in the form of a £650m term loan and a revolving credit facility of up to £100m to fund future growth. PA employees will retain the other 35% of shares, which the company says combined with the investment 'will allow it to retain its independence, alongside current culture, brand and values'.

Recently appointed PA Consulting CEO Ken Toombs (pictured) comments: 'We would like to thank Carlyle for the excellent partnership over five years. Together we have significantly grown the business and we are proud of what we have accomplished. We see Jacobs as the ideal partner for PA because of their market leading reputation, the alignment with our respective ambition and the opportunities to better serve clients through access to Jacobs' global platform and client base, positioning us for the next phase of growth... We look forward to continuing to deliver ingenious solutions for our clients, supported by Jacobs' investment and complementary capability'.

PA was founded in 1943, has around 3,200 employees and operates globally from offices across the UK, US and Europe. Web sites: www.paconsulting.com and www.jacobs.com .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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