Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, our award winning M&A advisory division, is pleased to announce that it has advised Ameo Professional Services Limited (“Ameo”), a premier management consulting firm focused on the public sector, on its sale to The Panoply, a digitally native technology-enabled digital transformation consultancy.

Mike Dearing, Consultancy Partner at Ameo comments “Smith Cooper Corporate Finance were a pleasure to work with in completing this complex transaction.  They demonstrated a strong depth of knowledge in professional services, robustly managed the process to an expedient timetable and demonstrated the tenacity, patience and fortitude to bring the buyer and seller to a mutually agreeable place to complete the deal.”

Ameo has been working with businesses for over 10 years seeking to deliver long-lasting, cost-effective change across a wide range of areas, from financial reporting and process design to digital innovation. Public sector work represents the majority of its revenue and, since being formed, Ameo has worked with over 100 clients. Ameo’s ethos is to seek to work as a partner with its clients in order to develop sustainable solutions and improve the skills of its clients’ teams.

The Board of the Panoply believes that the Acquisition will bring additional and complementary capabilities to the Group’s public sector offering, as well as extending its reach into this key market. The change delivery capability of Ameo, alongside the organisational and service design capability of Group Subsidiary FutureGov, and the backing of The Panoply’s first-in-class technology delivery businesses, provides the basis for targeting and winning increasingly large digital transformation projects in the UK public sector.

Neal Gandhi, Chief Executive Officer of The Panoply, said “Our focus is to deliver positive, sustainable change in the UK public sector and Ameo’s stellar track record of work in central and local government, healthcare and higher education broadens our capability to achieve this goal for our clients. Ultimately, this Acquisition increases our relevance and puts us in a stronger position to target and win larger, more strategic engagements at the heart of the UK public sector.

“With this Acquisition, public services revenues now account for approximately 70% on a proforma basis, giving us additional scale in the sector and adding to the breadth of skills that we can now offer clients.

“The public sector needs to continue on its digital transformation journey with urgency, encouraging staff to embrace modern ways of working and speeding up the adoption of cloud platforms. As an agile native, cloud only organisation, The Panoply is able to cater to this need and the addition of Ameo to our Group will support us in addressing this pressing demand. Together we look forward to leading the way for our clients across public, not for profit and commercial sectors.”

Ben Ward, Director of Ameo, said “Over the past decade we’ve built a highly knowledgeable team capable of delivering change across a range of industries and sectors. We recognise The Panoply as a group which complements our approach to seeking to deliver projects that are empowering and transformational.

“The collaborative culture fostered within the Group will take us to the next stage in our evolution by expanding our existing service capabilities and expertise to bring new leading-edge solutions to our clients’ challenges, particularly across service redesign, robotic process automation and Applied AI. We are excited to begin work as part of the Group and to take advantage of the many opportunities this collective strength brings.”

Regarding Smith Cooper Corporate Finance’s support in the transaction, Ben Ward said,

“Smith Coopers’ expert counselling and focus on protecting our best interests ultimately led to identifying the right partner, The Panoply, to help drive our next stage of growth. We are grateful to the entire Smith Cooper team for their commitment to helping us achieve this exciting transaction with The Panoply.”

Darren Hodson, Partner at Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, commented, “It has been a privilege working with Mike and Ben to complete this transaction. We are delighted for the shareholders and excited to see Ameo continue to thrive as part of the Panoply. This transaction expands Smith Cooper’s strong credentials for working with consultancy businesses, our ability to navigate the takeover code, and demonstrates our ability to get deals done swiftly.”

Advisor: Darren Hodson

Date: March 2020

Experts that advised on this deal

Darren Hodson

Corporate Finance Partner


Tom Joy

Senior Manager - Corporate Finance