Understanding an acquisition: Capgemini snaps up Germany’s energy-centric KONEXUS

Capgemini’s acquisition of KONEXUS, a 30-person Germany-based energy strategy and management consultancy, triggered a reaction at TBR, as earlier this year we had looked at consulting for the energy sector and had been surprised at the relatively small number of acquisitions across the firms we track. Thirty management consultants will be a fractional addition to a company of Capgemini’s size with headcount of roughly 215,000, and the revenue increase will likely be marginal, but the decision speaks to Capgemini’s strategy to build capacity in both emerging areas and areas where the firm has established strengths. Perhaps Germany’s politically charged Energiewende will limit the impact of KONEXUS on Capgemini as a whole, as the strategic advice for companies working in Germany’s energy sector may not easily translate to other countries and regions. More likely, though, energy companies globally will face ever-increasing political pressures to reform and will seek strategic guidance — maybe ever-increasingly from Capgemini.

In our May 2019 full report on Capgemini, we noted that the company’s Energy, Utilities, and Chemicals practice earned the smallest share of revenue by industry (11.3%, but was leading in growth compared to other verticals) and predicted the company would seek acquisitions that will “bolster its services expertise around digital and cloud, such as in automation, analytics, cloud, digital services, AI and IoT, in addition to expanding its onshore presence.” With that context, acquiring KONEXUS appears to be a small move tangential to the company’s broader strategy. Folding KONEXUS into Capgemini Invent could be a way to use experienced management consultants to guide innovation and transformation engagements with a broader set of clients. Some of Capgemini’s peers have similarly made acquisitions expected to provide traditional benefits — enhanced offerings, new clients, additive revenue — while also changing go-to-market strategies, operational approaches to engagements, and overall brand. That may be too much to expect from KONEXUS, but this may indicate where Capgemini is headed.

Look for our initial assessment of Capgemini’s earnings this week.   

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