September 2020

The Panoply acquires Newcastle-based digital consultancy firm

ABOUT THE PANOPLY GROUP

The Panoply is a world-class creative technology group, assembled for innovation. Configured as a lean, fluid and ego-free family of complementary tech-focused companies, they collaborate with brave organisations to ensure their participation in tomorrow, and beyond. The Panoply floated on the AIM index of the London Stock Exchange in December 2018, creating a group of digitally-native technology services companies assembled to meet the needs of the fourth industrial revolution.

 

ABOUT DIFRENT

Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based Difrent uses a partnership approach to help its clients to achieve their digital transformation goals. The company’s proposition includes strategic consultancy, user centered design, business analysis, business change, procurement, and front and back end development. The company is led by Rachel Murphy who was recently awarded CEO of the Year 2020 for Health and Social Care by CEO Monthly magazine and who is also a CHIME certified Healthcare CIO. Difrent also specialises in remote-first delivery, enabling organisations to deliver positive outcomes entirely remotely.

Difrent’s clients include NHSX, Department of Health and Social Care, NHS Business Services Authority, Public Health England, World Health Organisation, DEFRA and Department of Work and Pensions.

Difrent has experienced significant growth in its consulting revenue over the last three years, and most recently reported unaudited revenues in its consulting division at £5.7m (2019: £3.2m) and unaudited EBITDA of £0.7m (2019: £0.1m) for the year to 31 March 2020 (an increase of 78% and 600% respectively).

 

ABOUT THE DEAL

The Acquisition is in line with The Panoply’s stated three year commercial vision to use a mixture of positive cash flow and shares to make earnings enhancing acquisitions to add more than £35m of revenue to the Group. The Panoply is paying a total initial consideration of £8.8m with £4.0m in cash and £4.8m in shares with £0.4m of the cash element to be withheld pending the determination of completion accounts.

 

Upon completion of the acquisition, Difrent will work closely with the Group’s existing companies during the earn-out period with the potential of joining one of its full-stack brands in the future. 

 

OUR WORK

We acted as financial adviser to The Panoply on their acquisition of Difrent.

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It is a pleasure to have WY Partners as our key buy-side M&A advisor. WY’s market knowledge and support is invaluable, they show great commitment and enthusiasm to always deliver the best outcome. WY provide us with clear commercial advice, added value, and manage the process from start to finish. Their personal and pragmatic approach is always appreciated and they consistently overdeliver.

Neal Gandhi, Chief Executive Officer of The Panoply

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