Advantage Business Group has been acquired by WS Atkins plc

A group of highly qualified consultants, IT specialists and professional engineers have not only achieved their goal of creating one of the UK's leading independent consultancies in a short space of time, they have sold it for £19.4 million to the leading international provider of technically-based consultancy and support services, W S Atkins plc.

A large number of the 180 employees of the Advantage Business Group (with offices in Farnham, Bristol, Gainsborough and Aberdeen) participated in an MBO in 2001 of the consulting and IT activities of the former TA Group from the Fluor Corporation. They then threw their weight behind the senior management team in their objective of developing the business, extending the client base and furthering overall technical excellence to become a market leader.

Over the past six years, three divisions have been created: technical consulting, system solutions and business solutions, serving clients including NATO, BAA, Government departments and police forces and airports across the U.K. Advantage serves key industries including the defense, nuclear, air, rail, manufacturing, government and criminal justice areas and have established a long history of successful delivery to a blue chip client base.

This success led to a number of unsolicited approaches from potential purchasers, prompting the Advantage board to appoint Arrowpoint Advisory who undertook a formal, highly confidential, marketing exercise to strategic trade buyers - and received offers from most of them.

Jeremy Furniss, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory commented: It became clear at an early stage that Atkins were able to offer the deal we were seeking, to such an extent that intensive discussions took place at an early stage in the process. Not only will all those at Advantage who backed the MBO receive value for their equity, but upon successful integration the combination of Advantage and Atkins capabilities will broaden their systems engineering capability and allow Advantage to provide expertise in bigger and more exciting projects.”

Contact the deal team