Ethiopia based HST Consulting acquires Encore, adds 20 consultants

08 October 2017 Authored by Consultancy.africa

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.

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