Ethiopia based HST Consulting acquires Encore, adds 20 consultants

08 October 2017

Ethiopia-based accounting and auditing firm HST consulting has acquired Encore Employment, Training and Consultancy Services for an undisclosed amount. The deal, which follows after two months of negotiation and involves the transfer of around 20 consultants, is effective as of the 1st of October. 

HST was formed in 2003 after the merger of three independent auditing firms, which include Haile Leul Tamiru & Co., Solomon Gizaw & Co., and Tekeste Gebru & Co. The combined resourced earned HST the title of a class A firm (big firm) from the Federal Auditor General. HST is also the first professional accounting partnership in Ethiopia. The firm operates through two subsidiaries, HST Chartered Certified Accountants, and HST Consulting, two legally independent arms.

HST Consulting offers clients services in organisational system and targets operating model design, outsourcing, recruitment, payroll management and other such services. The advisory and consulting firm has been eyeing an expansion for quite a while now, having considered two undisclosed firms before settling on acquiring Encore. Ethiopia based HST Consulting acquires EncoreEncore, which is also a training and consulting firm, was founded in 2006 by Zekrie Negatu, Getachew Zewdie, and Hailu Zeleke. The firm has worked on a number of high profile projects, including with the United States Agency for International Development and Aid (USAID), the European Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association, and projects with HIV/AIDS.

As part of the acquisition, the entire asset value of Encore will transfer to HST, while the human resources will not transfer automatically. However, the directors at Encore will occupy similar positions within HST based on their specialisations.

Zekrie will now head HST’s Corporate Finance Section, while Getachew will head Strategy and Innovation. Hailu will head the Research and Industries Development. According to the director at HST, the acquisition was entirely their initiative, with hopes to tap into Encore’s local base and experience. Encore, meanwhile, stated that the acquisition was crucial for them to remain competitive in an increasingly diverse and expansive market. 

The acquisition, which takes HST from 125 to 145 employees, will be further boosted by HST’s partnership experience in the past with Big Four professional services firm Deloitte. The partnership began in 2012, and the two firms worked on a number of projects, including for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, before they split up earlier this year after a disagreement over management style.

WPP Scangroup acquires majority stake in Kantar TNS Kenya

15 May 2018

WPP Scangroup – a marketing consulting services firm operating across Sub-Saharan Africa – has acquired a majority stake in another WPP Subsidiary firm: Kantar TNS. The move involves the acquisition of shares previously held by Russell Square Holdings and International Research and Marketing Group Holdings.

As part of the global WPP network of marketing firms, WPP Scangroup is a Nairobi-based firm offering services in the communications, PR, and branding domains. The firm, which is based in Kenya and listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has an extensive scope of operations, spanning 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Scangroup, which was founded in 1996, operates with over a thousand employees on the continent – divided among the group’s long list of member firms, including Ogilvy & Maher, SCANAD, BluePrint Marketing, MediaCom Africa and a number of other marketing and PR agencies.

Having been operational in Africa for over two decades, the firm has indicated a desire to expand its operations, both in terms of geography and product offerings. For the latter, Scangroup is looking to add another dimension to its marketing services through the provision of market research and analysis, which it currently offers through research firm Kantar Millward Brown.

WPP Scangroup acquires majority stake in Kantar TNS Kenya

To this end, the firm has made a number of acquisitions in recent years, including Cavendish Square Holdings in 2013 and Experimental Marketing in 2014. Now, Scangroup has acquired a majority stake in Kantar TNS, which is the market research division of fellow WPP subsidiary firm Kantar.

The acquisition amounts to an 80% stake, 70% of which previously belonged to Russell Square Holdings, while 10% belonged to International Research and Marketing Group (which will continue to hold the remaining 20%). Kantar TNS’ strong presence across Kenya and Nigeria will offer Scangroup reinforcement in what are among the biggest markets on the continent.

Established in 1988 in Kenya, Kantar TNS specialises in market research, and leverages its analytical capabilities to offer clients with strategies for entry and growth into the complex and diverse African markets. Kantar TNS' clients include firms from within Kenya as well as multinational corporations looking to capitalise on emerging markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive of Scangroup Bharat Thakrar said, “The focus on research and data-driven operations perfectly fits our goal of providing horizontal, integrated communications services and products across the Sub-Saharan region. This deal increases WPP Scangroup’s presence and capability, enabling it to build a leading position in the market research business.”