Global consulting firm Ankura buys joint venture specialist Water Street

Global consulting firm Ankura has acquired Water Street Partners, a Washington, DC-based joint venture and alliance advisory firm.

Founded in 2008, Water Street provides companies with transaction, governance, and portfolio advisory services related to joint ventures and other non-M&A partnerships. In governance, the firm works with boards, management teams, and individual shareholders.

The company has negotiated, restructured, or advised on many of the largest partnerships in the world, working on 250+ joint venture transactions valued at $750 billion and on more than 450 existing joint ventures.

Water Street’s founders were previously the global co-leads of McKinsey & Company’s joint venture and alliance practice.Global consulting firm Ankura buys joint venture specialist Water StreetAnkura’s acquisition of Water Street will strengthen its transaction advisory capabilities with a complementary service offering. The deal will add 22 professionals to Ankura’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

“We continue to grow our business by attracting top talent in defined and attractive market segments and fostering a collaborative environment that encourages these leaders to leverage one another’s insights and expertise to deliver high-quality, customized solutions to our clients,” said Kevin Lavin, CEO of Ankura. “Water Street is a proven leader in the joint venture and alliance advisory sector. This combination extends our delivery of expert advice to an expanding global client base facing complex and challenging situations.”

Water Street’s leadership team – James Bamford, Gerard Baynham, Peter Daniel, David Ernst, and Geoff Walker – will join Ankura as senior managing directors.

“We look forward to working together with our new colleagues and helping them grow our combined businesses through a continued commitment to exceeding our clients’ expectations,” said co-founder and managing director David Ernst.

Investment bank Equiteq served as a financial advisor to Water Street, while Cooley LLP acted as legal counsel. David Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to Ankura.

Ankura focuses on corporate performance and risk management, providing consulting services across compliance, investigations, forensics, technology, turnaround and restructuring, and corporate strategy. The firm has 1,500 employees across more than 30 global offices.

The firm recently expanded its cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of the cybersecurity practice of UnitedLex, a provider of digital services to the legal industry.

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