Long term growth support and transaction advice helps management consultancy, Crossbridge, sell to Synechron

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Crossbridge, a specialist management consultancy focused exclusively on financial services, engaged Equiteq to run an Equity Growth Accelerator (EGA) workshop leading to long term growth support with an aim to help Crossbridge build value. A three year growth support programme, based on Equiteq’s ‘8 Lever model’, contributed to 66% revenue growth in 2 years. Based on a successful growth support programme and Equiteq’s deep consulting transaction experience, Equiteq was appointed as lead advisor for the sale. Crossbridge was sold to Synechron, the largest independent technology consulting and outsourcing provider for the financial services, at a valuation which exceeded shareholder expectations.

Equiteq have been valued advisors to Crossbridge over several years, and worked hard to understand us and our business. The process provided us with a number of strategic options, which they expertly assessed, explained and negotiated on our behalf. When it came to establishing the excellent fit with Synechron, they went the extra mile to ensure we took the right decisions.

Tim Cuddeford Chairman of Crossbridge

The client's situation

Crossbridge was created by a collection of individuals who had previously worked together in other consultancies. Their idea was to create a different kind of consultancy which served the needs of their financial services clients in a more adaptable and flexible way. Crossbridge adopted a hybrid approach utilising senior industry expertise on an associate basis supplemented with in-house resources in order to create bespoke project teams. Although Crossbridge achieved substantial organic growth, further growth could be accelerated with a partner that would provide scale and a deeper resource.

Our approach

Initially, Equiteq ran a two day workshop with the leadership team to benchmark the business against the wider industry, map where it wanted to be and within what timescale and focus on the actions needed by the leadership to achieve these goals.

Crossbridge used Equiteq’s 8 lever ‘Equity Growth Wheel’ on an annual basis to chart their progress and provide updated valuations of the business. At the last of these events the Crossbridge leadership team decided to start looking for a bigger partner in order to accelerate growth further. Equiteq prepared Crossbridge for sale and acted as lead advisor throughout the transaction.

The sale process began with the preparation of high quality sales documentation, followed by a focused and efficient buyer outreach process. The result was a number of offers which Equiteq negotiated and improved before the shareholders selected their preferred buyer. Finally, Equiteq facilitated a quick and efficient due diligence process and advised Crossbridge on the sales and purchase agreement terms. Crossbridge was sold to Synechron, the largest independent pure-play technology consulting and outsourcing provider for the financial services industry.

Shareholders’ goals and deal rationale between buyer and seller

In order to accelerate its organic growth Crossbridge needed a partner that would provide scale and a deeper resource pool, enabling Crossbridge to deliver larger projects.

Synechron already had strong financial services expertise and by acquiring Crossbridge could expand its offerings. The deal extensively augmented Synechron’s consulting expertise and consolidated its footprint in the UK and Europe.

Synechron’s technical depth and scale was well aligned with Crossbridge’s transformation, regulation, financial crime, data and digital practice areas. The combination of Synechron's technical consulting expertise and Crossbridge's business consulting capabilities created a leading full lifecycle financial services consulting proposition.

How did Equiteq deliver value to the client?

Equiteq’s deep knowledge of the buyer universe and key value drivers for these buyers helped identify the best partners for Crossbridge. A focused list generated huge interest in Crossbridge from renowned international buyers.

Following a dynamic sale process where buyers were in a competitive bid situation, Crossbridge achieved a final sale value that exceeded shareholder expectations.

 

Read the press release on this deal here.

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