News round-up: January 10

Published: Jan 10, 2011


Welcome to another week's worth of glorious consulting news.

First out of the gate is Booz Allen Hamilton, which today announced its intentions to refinance over $1 billion in debt. While the firm did manage to raise roughly $250 million in its November 2010 IPO, Booz Allen's books still show up to $1.2 billion in debt, a figure this refinancing effort will seek to reduce. While debt in the billions isn't a pleasant reality for any firm, it's not like Booz Allen desperately needs the money; despite the IPO, the firm is still majority owned by private equity giant the Carlyle Group, managers of nearly $100 billion in assets worldwide.

This weekend, authorities at the Department of Justice began investigating an Oregon consultancy's claims that FedEx and UPS were working in tandem—thus breaching American antitrust laws. AFMS Logistics Management, which says it "shows companies of all sizes how to dramatically decrease shipping costs in order to raise profits and increase bottom lines", had filed a lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages. The Financial Times reports that AFMS "claimed UPS and FedEx had conspired to monopolize the package delivery business, refusing to deal with consultants and intimidating customers who used third parties." FedEx and UPS have strenuously denied the allegations, citing their history of "aggressive competition" against one another. Shipping consultancies like AFMS help clients navigate extremely complex pricing markets, advising both carriers (like FedEx and UPS) and their customers.

In other news: Terracon Consultants finalized its acquisition of Colorado-based Geotechnical Engineering Group, which brings deeper technical expertise to Terracon's combined engineering/consulting platform; Alvarez & Marsal poached one of PwC's top consultants; Olliance Group, an open source strategy consultancy out of Palo Alto, was bought out by Black Duck Software; and Management Consulting Group, parent of Kurt Salmon Associates, Ineum Consulting and Alexander Proudfoot, announced that it had successfully reduced much of its debt. Kurt Salmon and Ineum had recently completed a merger; both now operate under the Kurt Salmon banner.

For more information:
Financial Times
Terracon Consultants acquires Geotechnical Engineering Group
Alvarez & Marsal Expands Business Consulting Practice in Chicago
Black Duck Software Acquires Olliance Group
Management Consulting focus on cutting debt