Matthew Neville

North East Diversity and Inclusion specialist acquires London based counterpart in seven-figure deal

Hebburn based Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) specialist eQuality Solutions Group (eQS) has acquired Challenge, a London based DEI training and consultancy business in a seven-figure deal as part of its “buy and build” strategy.

The move accelerates eQS’ goal to become the leading UK’s provider of DEI solutions and further solidifies its target of achieving £30m turnover by 2023.

Founded in 1988 by Femi Otitoju, Challenge Consultancy has a longstanding reputation in DEI, having delivered dynamic, transformational training on the global stage across four decades. Challenge Consultancy are “pioneers in creating positive change in the private, public, and education sectors”.

Speaking on the business, Andy Gough, eQS CEO, commented: “Challenge has an outstanding reputation in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion and has done incredible work to influence positive change in the workplace.”

This is the fourth acquisition in the last 12 months for the Hebburn headquartered group which will see Challenge Consultancy’s 41 employees and consultants join forces with recently acquired EW Group, cementing eQS’ position as a “leader in providing DEI solutions in the workplace”.

Femi Otitoju will move to a founder role within the business alongside Jane Farrell, EW Group founder. The resulting DEI Division will be led going forward by EW Group’s current MD, Rachael Wilson.

Speaking of the acquisition, eQS’ CFO, Michael Hall, said: “The global DEI market is forecast to reach £6billion in the next 5 years and the acquisition of Challenge Consultancy is an important milestone for the group, instantly doubling the size of our DEI division and making eQS one of the largest independent players in the UK.

“The addition of Challenge Consultancy will see eQS’ revenues exceed £15 million and the accumulation of talent reinforces our ability to deliver industry-changing DEI strategies across multiple sectors and geographies”

Femi added: “The deal with eQS was perfect timing. Andy, Rachael, Michael and the leadership team at eQS are passionate about influencing positive change within the world and their ambition to be the leading global provider in DEI strategies and to make the world a more inclusive place, really stood out.

“eQS has a proven track record in delivering industry-leading disability solutions and we have always seen EW Group as a like-minded pioneer in DEI. I am confident that the market will respond positively to the combination of two of the strongest players in the sector, and to the greater capacity and expertise the wider Group will now offer.”

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