Alantra advises Sovereign on the MBO of digital transformation and cyber security consultancy Actica



Apr 2022
Buy-side advisory

UK – Alantra, the global investment banking firm, has advised Sovereign Capital Partners on its significant investment in Actica Consulting (‘Actica’), a specialist provider of digital transformation, cyber security and technical consultancy services to the public sector.

Established in 1998 and headquartered in Guildford, Actica works with predominantly central government clients, across the UK, as part of long-term, mission-critical programmes. The business enables clients to become more efficient, effective and secure through supporting areas including strategy creation, architecture development, digital transformation, cyber security optimisation, data analytics and business intelligence.

Actica has a team of c.130 highly qualified staff, and a strong reputation for technical excellence, collaborative problem solving and delivery; the business was ranked as a ‘Leading Management Consultancy’ by the FT in both 2020 and 2021.

Sovereign is backing the highly successful management team led by Dr Mike Murphy, Managing Director. Mike joined the business in 2002 having started his career as a software engineer at IBM. Actica’s founders, David Haws and Andy Evason, have materially reinvested in the business and will remain on the Board as non-executive directors. Sovereign’s investment will help to grow the business both organically and through selective acquisitions to diversify its services and end markets, and to leverage the current skill sets into other relevant sectors.

This transaction builds on Alantra’s strong track record of advising investors and businesses within the technology consultancy sector including AquaQ, ECS, Ten10, Roboyo and Chaucer.

Alantra’s team was led by Simon Roberts, Director. He was supported by Guy Taylor, Luke Parvin, Harry Sparks, Christopher Bates and Scott Summers.  

Simon Roberts, Director at Alantra who led the deal, said, “We’re delighted to have advised Sovereign on its investment in Actica. The Actica team have built a hugely exciting business with leading capabilities in strategy, business change, digital transformation and cybersecurity, and are trusted to deliver on long-term, mission critical projects within the public and private sector. Sovereign’s investment will enable Actica to continue growing both organically and through acquisitions while expanding into other sectors.  

He continued, “Sovereign’s investment in Actica highlights the ongoing activity within the wider digital transformation ecosystem. We continue to see significant demand from strategic acquirers and private equity for high-growth consultancies with leading technological capabilities and we expect more transactions in the space over the coming months.”

Jeremy Morgan, Partner, Sovereign Capital Partners said: “We are very excited to be working with Mike and the team to support the next phase of growth for the business. Actica is a highly regarded operator in this specialist market which has enjoyed consistent organic growth for many years; it attracts high calibre talent to solve some of the public sector’s most complex challenges. We believe there are real opportunities for Actica to scale its service offering both organically and through strategic acquisition.”

Dr Mike Murphy, Managing Director, Actica said: “Our partnership with Sovereign brings exciting new possibilities for the business.  We operate across the UK’s large, dynamic public sector market, working with our clients to support the delivery of critical programmes. By further developing and diversifying our services into new areas, we will be able to further strengthen our capabilities and create new opportunities for growth.  We have spent a lot of time getting to know the Sovereign team and believe they are a strong fit both in terms of their track-record and approach.”

David Haws and Andy Evason, the founders of Actica said: “We are very proud of Actica, the team and everything that has been achieved over the last 24 years. Sovereign recognises our premium offering and the opportunities to develop the business in this rapidly evolving market. With their partnership and investment, we look forward to seeing the business continue to flourish.”

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