Australia's Leonardo bought by global tech consultancy UST

25 February 2024 2 min. read
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Global technology consultancy UST has acquired Melbourne-headquartered Leonardo as it seeks to gain further ground in the A/NZ, adding around 70 new professionals to its 30,000-plus headcount. 

Australian digital consultancy Leonardo has been picked up by US-based global tech counterpart UST for an undisclosed sum, strengthening its existing position in the A/NZ market after ramping up its local activities in 2021. Leonardo has meanwhile been in operations since before the turn of the century, with a team of more than 70 professionals spread across its Melbourne headquarters and further outlets in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.

CEO Stephen Chetcuti described the merger as a significant milestone for Leonardo: “Our partnership with UST opens a realm of new possibilities and we are excited about the expanded digital services we can offer our clients.”

Australia's Leonardo bought by global tech consultancy UST

“This collaboration signifies our commitment to growing alongside our customers, providing them with unparalleled digital solutions, and harnessing the power of AI to unlock new levels of productivity and business insight,” he added.

Established two and a half decades ago by Chris Nagel in Brisbane, the consultancy – which will continue to operate under its own name with an added UST tag – describes itself as a process transformation company, enabling end-to-end intelligent process improvement through technology. In addition to the government, Leonardo serves clients in the financial services, manufacturing, retail, mining, and utilities sectors among others.

“For over 25 years, Leonardo has been a reliable partner to its clients in the ANZ community, especially in the process transformation area,” stated Kumaran CR, UST’s managing director for Australia. “Their deep-rooted understanding and experience in these areas is invaluable. For UST, improving organisational efficiencies and thereby uplifting productivity for our clients is a key pillar within our transformation agenda.”

Having been active in Australia for around five years at the time, UST in 2021 changed its name from UST Global and intensified its focus on the local market, with Kumaran and current A/NZ head of consulting Agnes Misiurny among a number of senior leaders recruited from Cognizant’s strategy division. A year later the firm launched a digital innovation lab in Melbourne Connect, saying the initiative would lead to the creation of 250 new jobs.

Globally, the 1988-founded firm has a headcount in excess of 30,000 employees in more than 30 countries, bringing in revenues above the $1 billion mark. Backed by Singaporean wealth vehicle Temasek since 2018 courtesy of an initial $250 million investment, a recent Bloomberg report stated UST is currently eyeing a $500 million-plus funding raise via IPO, with suggestions the company could be now valued at as much as $10 billion.