Accenture Buys Cybersecurity Consultancy Context For $139 Million

The purchase of London, U.K.-based Context Information Security is expected to boost Accenture’s capabilities around everything from cyber defense and red teaming to vulnerability research and incident response services.


Accenture has purchased 250-person firm Context Information Security to help government organizations and financial institutions respond to the threat of advanced cyberattacks.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company, No. 2 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500, said the acquisition of London, U.K.-based Context boost Accenture’s capabilities around everything from cyber defense and red teaming to vulnerability research and incident response services. Context has been involved in handling some of the most advanced incident response cases in the industry, according to Accenture.

“This acquisition is an excellent match for us, combining a group of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals globally while providing differentiated services to the U.K. market,” said Kelly Bissell, a senior managing director at Accenture who leads Accenture Security.

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[Related: Accenture To Buy Symantec Cyber Security Services Unit From Broadcom]

Accenture paid roughly $139 million to buy Context from British aerospace and defense giant Babcock International Group, according to a regulatory filing from Babcock. Context had gross assets of $46.9 million as of Sept. 30, 2019, and operating profit of $2.6 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. Accenture didn’t respond to requests for additional comment on the deal.

“Context is an exciting business and has achieved a great deal in the area of cyber security. We wish Accenture well in taking the business forward from here,” Babcock CEO Archie Bethel said in a statement. “This transaction represents a further focusing of our business and supports our medium-term strategy.”

Accenture’s stock was down $3.81 (2.09 percent) in trading Friday to $178.75 per share. Meanwhile, Babcock’s stock dropped $12.92 (2.32 percent) during Friday trading to $545.03 per share.

Context was founded in 1998 and has clients spanning multiple industries from financial services and government to aerospace and defense, according to Accenture. The company has employees across the U.K., Germany, Australia and U.S., and is expected to accelerate growth for Accenture Security in the U.K.

“Combining our skills and expertise under one roof to help us do more for our clients and create more opportunities for our people was an easy decision,” Context CEO Mark Raeburn said in a statement. “Accenture’s industry-focused approach across adversary simulation, red teaming, incident response and more, matches Context’s own strategy.”

The Context deal comes just two months after Accenture announced plans to purchase Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom to help organizations address cyber threats. The Symantec business has more than 300 employees and is anchored by the company’s managed security services practice, which is one of just five to be recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Beyond Context and Symantec Cyber Security Services, Accenture has made a number of acquisitions focused on threat intelligence and cybersecurity, including Déjà vu Security, iDefense, Maglan, Redcore, Arismore and FusionX. All told, Accenture spent nearly $1.2 billion on 33 acquisitions globally in the company’s 2019 fiscal year, which ended May 31.