CD&R has reached a $2.2bn takeover deal with PwC to snap up its global mobility tax and immigration services business, in the consultancy giant’s biggest sell-off in almost two decades.
Globally, the unit currently advises more than 3000 organisations with tax and immigration compliance issues when they move staff overseas – a market that more or less halted during the pandemic.
It operates in about 40 territories worldwide, with a main presence is in the US and UK, and substantial operations in Australia, Canada and the Middle East.
But CD&R believes the business, which operates in about 40 territories worldwide, is well poised to help organisations navigate the “more complex” compliance issues that have arisen as travel makes a comeback.
While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the buyout group said it expects it to close in the first half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
After the transaction is completed, the business will be rebranded and led by new CEO Peter Clarke, who is currently global managing partner for global employee mobility at PwC. The company’s new chair will be Russ Fradin, partner at CD&R and former chief executive and chair of Aon Hewitt.
The return of business travel, emerging mobile work patterns, and the heightened need for compliance in a complex business and regulatory environment will drive significant need for a globally integrated provider with a sophisticated digital platform,” said Fradin.
It represents PwC’s largest disposal since it sold its consulting division to IBM in 2002 for $3.5bn, following the Enron scandal, before rebuilding its consultancy services.
It comes after fellow Big Four giant Deloitte agreed to sell its UK insolvency business to public relations and advisory company Teneo, backed by CVC Capital Partners, in February.
A month later, KPMG sold its restructuring practice to Interpath Advisory for around £400m to a newly-formed company backed by private equity firm HIG Europe.
It’s been a busy month for CD&R, which beat the Fortress Investment consortium at auction for Morrisons a fortnight ago in a £10bn deal for the supermarket.