Technology – Dotcom price is right for AA.

Arthur Andersen has signalled its intention to re-engineer itself as an e-consultancy by snapping up e-business solutions provider Xpedior – and revealing further deals are likely to follow.

The acquisition of Isleworth-based Xpedior for an undisclosed sum is the first deal the firm has made in the UK since its split with Andersen Consulting, now accenture, last year.

It added further buyouts ‘should not be ruled out’ as the firm looks to boost its position in the e-business consulting rankings. It is understood the acquisition followed the two parties working together and came after ‘quick’ negotiations. Further deals are likely to be encouraged as the value of dotcoms has plummeted in recent months.

An AA spokesman, said: ‘The deal was completed after it became apparent there were synergies with the two parties.

‘We are looking to shift our brand in this direction and the opportunity was too good to miss. It heralds us moving towards increasing our e-business consultancy capabilities.’

Similar deals involving accounting firms have included Darestep – the e-consultancy owned by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, which took over Swedish internet consultancy Mind.

The acquisition transfers all assets of Xpedior UK to AA, under the umbrella of Arthur Andersen Digital Solutions which will be headed by Xpedior UK managing director, Chris Read.

He said: ‘We are witnessing the latest evolution as blue chip companies are now the driving force behind e-business.’

The deal will allow AA to offer blue-chip clients a wider base of technology skills for integrating supply chains using websites and other digital technology.

Read added: ‘FTSE 500 companies operate in mature markets where it is difficult to achieve appreciable growth in market share. Instead, these businesses are focused on increasing profitability and shareholder value by maximising the value of existing consumers and improving the efficiency of their workforce.

‘As part of Arthur Andersen, we will be positioned to transform clients’ performance by combining best of breed pre-packaged solutions and the intellectual capital of Arthur Andersen and Xpedior UK to drive the bespoke applications that differentiate and build sustainable competitive advantage,’ he added.

The same management team which led Xpedior UK will head Arthur Andersen Digital Solutions and will continue to operate in Isleworth.

For more information on Arthur Andersen visit

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