Australian Strategy, management and IT consulting firm, Projects Assured acquired by DWS

22 July 2018 Authored by Consultancy.com.au

DWS has acquired the strategy, management and IT consulting firm Project Assured for $43 million in a deal that asks for $30 million up front, paid for by a mixture of cash reserves and debt. The acquired consulting firm has a predicted annual revenue for the 2018-19 financial year of between $35-40 million.

Project Assured is a Canberra based consulting firm which has grown since their inception a few short years ago to have over 100 employees today. Having begun their operations less than three years ago, the firm has ridden a wave of public sector advisory expenditure to become one of the capital’s fastest growing advisories. 

The purchaser, DWS, was formed in 1991 by chairman and founder Danny Wallis and has an annual revenue that exceeds $140 million. The firm listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2006 and has since been on a path of inorganic growth, acquiring a number of separate businesses within the country. With the Project Assured staff incorporated into the DWS ranks, roughly 800 professionals will work with the consulting firm.

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Project Assured co-founders, Greg Sly, an ex-managing director of strategic advisory and consulting firm CTO Group, and David O’Rourke, who has held multiple senior positions in the public and private sectors as well as in the Australian Army, commented by saying; "DWS shares our vision for the future of the Projects Assured business and we are delighted to be part of a leading ASX listed Australian IT services group.” The two Project Assured co-founders and joint executive general managers will stay with the company throughout the transition period.

The transaction will be completed on the 2nd of July, the same date that the initial $30 million bill will be paid. The following $13 million will be based on performance indicators and settled in the forthcoming years. The sum is roughly 5 to 6 times the annual EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) which is lower than the average managed service providers (MSP) but common for many consulting and project management firms. 

“It is also consistent with our stated aim of making earnings accretive acquisitions to supplement the wide-ranging suite of IT and strategic consulting services already provided by the Group,” said DWS CEO Danny Wallis. “We are pleased to welcome Projects Assured’s experienced and highly skilled workforce into the DWS Group and look forward to supporting David, Greg and the Projects Assured leadership team in the next stage of Projects Assured growth”.

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