Bain & Company buys Australian procurement consultancy ArcBlue

24 February 2022 3 min. read
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Global management consulting firm Bain & Company has acquired ArcBlue, an Australian procurement consultancy with over 150 consultants across the Asia Pacific.

The deal is Bain & Company’s first in 2022, and largest since the US-headquartered firm acquired Scandinavian player Qvartz in Europe (450 consultants in Europe). In between, Bain has closed a number of small acquisitions in the United Kingdom, Italy and United States.

Founded in Australia in 2013, ArcBlue specialises in all aspects of the procurement lifecycle, with experience across a wide range of industries and supply categories. The award-winning firm has 10 offices across Asia Pacific, with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore its key markets.

Bain & Company buys Australian procurement consultancy ArcBlue

“After successfully working with the ArcBlue team over the last two years, this acquisition cements the relationship between the two firms, leveraging our collective strengths to deliver a best-in-class procurement offering to the Asia-Pacific region,” said Hernan Saenz, leader of Bain & Company's Global Performance Improvement practice.

ArcBlue will become part of Bain’s specialist procurement implementation service line and operate as an independent subsidiary under its own banner.

The Australian consultancy operates with six specialised practices – Advisory & Change, Capability Development, Procurement Technology, Social & Sustainable Procurement, Project Resourcing, and Search & Recruitment.

“Procurement is essential to an organisation's growth and, in many cases, critical to its sustainability transformation. By joining forces with ArcBlue, Bain aims to become Asia-Pacific's leading procurement advisor, delivering an end-to-end transformation offering that incorporates capability development, strategy, design and technology,” said Saenz.

The co-founders of ArcBlue, Chris Newman and Dan Fielding said: “Joining forces with a top-tier, global consulting firm with such exceptional expertise opens up great opportunities to elevate the value we bring to all of our clients. We are also excited about the opportunities that this acquisition presents to our partners and team.”

The move comes at a time of strong M&A activity in the procurement consulting landscape, amid a boom in the segment on the back of heightened pandemic-induced demand. Recent deals include the acquisition of Nordic player Prokura by Kearney, Argon & Co’s bolt-on of a procurement team in the UK, and PwC’s purchase of Drozak Consulting.

Meanwhile, Boston Consulting Group’s procurement subsidiary BCG Inverto has expanded organically to over 350 consultants (from around 150 consultants when it joined BCG five years ago).