Jacobs closes majority investment in PA Consulting

04 March 2021 Consulting.us 2 min. read
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Jacobs, a global design and engineering consultancy, has completed its majority investment in PA Consulting, a London-based innovation and transformation consultancy.

The transaction, which closed on March 2 after a UK Court approval process, gives Jacobs 65% of the consultancy, with PA employees retaining a 35% share.

The Carlyle Group exits its investment in PA after five years of growth, including more than doubled Ebitda and compound annual revenue growth of 12%.

PA shareholders voted 99.9% in favor of the acquisition. The transaction, which was funded with a combination of cash on hand and existing debt facilities, valued PA Consulting at $2.5 billion.

Jacobs closes majority investment in PA ConsultingFounded in 1943, PA delivers consulting services in product design and engineering, strategy and operations, and digital transformation, among other areas. The London-based firm has 3,200 consultants, designers, innovators, and scientists across offices in Europe and the US.

“Jacobs' culture, values, and client base are closely aligned to our own, making them a natural marketplace partner,” said Ken Toombs, CEO of PA Consulting. “Its complementary capabilities will further strengthen our ability to deliver innovative solutions for our clients.”

LA-based Jacobs is one of the world’s largest engineering, design, and construction services firms, alongside competitors Aecom, SNC-Lavalin, and WSP. The expansion of its consulting capabilities will follow the wider trend of its peers toward a heavier emphasis on higher-margin advisory work instead of riskier, fixed-cost construction contracts.

Jacobs has approximately 55,000 employees and $14 billion in annual revenue.

"This strategic partnership accelerates our strategy to become a leader in bringing greater innovation and creativity to respond to current-day challenges such as climate change, cyber, urbanization, and the ongoing healthcare crisis,” said Steve Demetriou, chair and CEO of Jacobs. “PA has delivered strong growth over the last five years and together our organizations will set a new industry benchmark in differentiated solutions that deliver superior end-to-end value for Jacobs and PA clients, employees and investors."