Wavestone acquires Xceed

France’s Wavestone has acquired UK IT consultancy Xceed Group, in a deal advised by BCMS.

Established in London in 2003, Xceed Group is a leading technology consultancy which provides professional advisory services to major financial services organisations.

The group helps retail banks, insurance companies and financial data processors plan and deliver complex IT change programmes, including banking platform modernisation, IT infrastructure transformation, card engagement platforms, digital transformation, and strategic sourcing.

Around 80% of Xceed’s revenue comes from financial services clients. In the financial year prior to the transaction, Xceed reported an 8% increase in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA margin of circa 20%.

“We chose BCMS, who could help us find buyers with a good reputation” – John Casserly, Xceed

The transaction accelerates Wavestone’s strategic plan to expand internationally. Xceed will play a key role in promoting Wavestone’s value proposition in the UK and US, enhancing its ability to deliver complementary services globally for its financial services client base.

For Xceed’s 60 permanent staff, they will benefit from being part of a dynamic growing group with a greater international reach.

The transaction is a 100% acquisition by Wavestone of Xceed’s capital in the UK and US. Xceed CEO John Casserly will stay with the combined business for a six to 12 months period to ensure a smooth transition, supported by a five-strong leadership team who are staying in the business.

Deal perspectives

At the time of the transaction in 2018, BCMS Director Andy Denny commented: “This was a very competitive bidding process, but the clear synergies from a tie-up between Wavestone and Xceed were compelling. Once again, this transaction demonstrates that business owners need to think globally to secure the best deal when planning their exit. We wish everyone the best for the next chapter for Xceed and Wavestone.”

Commenting on the decision to appoint BCMS, John Casserly added: “We wanted to hire an advisor good at selling businesses. We chose BCMS who could help us find buyers with a good reputation. There were two serious contenders [to be our M&A advisor], BCMS and one other. The other company specialised in our marketplace. We felt very close to them in that they knew our market and business really well, and we talked the same language.

“BCMS does not specialise in any one sector, which has the benefit of scale. The people that you meet at BCMS have all done it before, in fact many times before. For me, it came down to ‘who is the safe pair of hands, who are the people we can trust?’ We had done our homework and BCMS ticked all the boxes.”