A GCC region consulting industry leader is formed following the complex multi-country sale of strategy and management consulting firm ShiftIN to Sia Partners

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ShiftIN Partners, a strategy management consulting firm, had gained a strong position in the Middle East by establishing a client base of more than 50 blue-chip clients across the GCC countries in both the private and public sectors. Following a buyer unsolicited approach, the owners of ShiftIN embarked on a search for a strategic investor that would enable them to continue their growth journey. ShiftIN engaged Equiteq to act as exclusive advisor to the owners in their search for a strategic acquirer. The process led to the selection of Sia Partners, a major European consulting group with strong synergies to Sia’s existing subsidiaries in the GCC countries. The transaction resulted in the creation of a major regional player.

Equiteq has unfailingly supported us throughout the process, thanks to their experience and understanding of the specificity of the case. While the strategic rationale of the case was compelling, there were quite a few hurdles that had to be cleared, and Equiteq’s support was invaluable in this respect.

Amancio Torres Co-Founder and CEO, ShiftIN Partners

The client's situation

ShiftIN Partners was a top-level consulting firm focused on helping corporate or public organizations manage strategy and innovation programs that enable the client to achieve business transformation from within. ShiftIN’s services included strategic insight & innovation, strategy implementation and business transformation, and inroads into analytics & digital transformation.

Since its inception, ShiftIN had achieved rapid growth in the Middle East, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Tehran. It had also managed first entry into some European markets and established a strong client base of more than 50 blue-chip companies in government and private sectors.

ShiftIN had accumulated a wealth of experience in the GCC Region and built a whole array of IP, methodologies and solutions. Its strong track record and results in the emerging markets led to an unsolicited approach from one of its business partners. Equiteq were engaged to assist in these discussions.

The unsolicited offer did not come to fruition, but the owners of ShiftIN asked Equiteq to embark upon a search to find the strategic investor that would be best placed to continue to support ShiftIN in its growth journey.

Our approach

Equiteq provided full support for its client ShiftIN in every aspect of the transaction, including the preparation phase, negotiation phase and the due diligence/closing phase, which was particularly complex in a multi-country context.

To unlock the desired transaction outcome, Equiteq assisted in:

  • Case preparation to support a higher transaction value for ShiftIN shareholders

  • Planning and preparing necessary documents, data, and marketing materials as well as development of synergy rationales

  • Leading negotiations, the due diligence process and data room management

  • Finalizing the transaction, supervising the staggered closing process and the integration process

Shareholder exit goals & deal rationale between buyer & seller 

The rationale behind the two parties joining forces was based upon the joint objective of catapulting the integrated entities to a leading position in the Middle East. The alignment of strategy, corporate culture and the combination of their respective strengths will create a powerful and dynamic global management consulting firm with strong synergies in terms of service offerings, business development and delivery.

How did Equiteq deliver value to the client?

Equiteq took full ownership of the transaction, helping to identify several issues and hurdles that had to be cleared for the sale process to be successful for its client.

  • Equiteq provided expertise and full support in every aspect of the deal process.

  • Equiteq assisted ShiftIN in discussing a dynamic deal structure with Sia Partners in such a way that the ShiftIN shareholders could realistically expect substantial upside potential.

  • Equiteq supported all discussions between the involved parties, including negotiations, side agreements, and generally running the process.

  • Equiteq was instrumental in finalizing the transaction, which was complex due to the specificities of the region, as well as the multiple geographies and companies involved in the transaction.


 Read the press release on this deal here.