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C.W. Downer & Co. Advises ÄKTA on Sale to Salesforce

BOSTON, September 2, 2015 – C.W. Downer & Co., a leading global middle-market investment bank, is pleased to announce that ÄKTA US LLC, an award-winning digital experience consultancy, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Salesforce.com, Inc., creator of the world’s leading CRM platform. The transaction was signed today, September 2, 2015, and the transaction value was not disclosed.

Based in Chicago, IL, with an office in Austin, TX, ÄKTA specializes in User Experience Design, Mobile Application Development, Innovation Consulting and Brand Experience & Strategy for the Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer markets as well as Enterprise/Internal applications. The company deploys its trademarked Experience Oriented Architecture™ (XOA™) methodology to design mobile and digital experiences for Fortune 1000 clients. The company has assisted over 80 clients since its inception in 2010, including major global brands such as Exelon, DeVry Education Group, Starbucks, HBO, Motorola Solutions, Topgolf, W.W. Grainger, Whirlpool and Lucid.

"Five years ago, I set out to create a model for the next generation consultancy: A team of seasoned thinkers and doers built to bring design-led digital transformation to leading brands," ÄKTA founder and CEO, John Roa, stated. "We proved that model as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, delivering industry-leading digital products that are used by millions of people around the globe. As part of Salesforce, we will be able to bring customers’ vision to life with a truly novel combination of strategic leadership, design thinking, brand strategy, industry-leading engineering and software," he concluded.

"In recent years, technology employment has grown faster in Chicago than in all but two of its peer cities," said Charles DelGrande, Managing Director with C.W. Downer & Co. and lead investment banker on the ÄKTA transaction. "John Roa and his team of truly world-class consultants exemplify the role that Chicago’s technology firms increasingly play as leaders in their fields,” he continued. “We were pleased to represent ÄKTA in what was a very competitive transaction process. The strategic fit between ÄKTA, with its focus on customer experience, and Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM platform and the epitome of customer driven innovation, was a key driver of this successful outcome. As design has moved further from the world of products, its tools have been adapted and extended into a distinct new discipline called 'design thinking.' Over five years ago, John and his team understood the future significance of this global trend and how design thinking can help customer-focused innovators to make worlds they’ve only imagined become digital realities. That future is now."

The C.W. Downer & Co. team advising ÄKTA with the sale included Charles DelGrande (Managing Director), Jon Tetirick (Associate) and Mike Fernandes (Analyst).

About C.W. Downer & Co.

C.W. Downer & Co. is an independent, global investment bank offering middle-market clients a high level of personal attention coupled with 40 years of international execution experience. We provide insight, not just information. We generate value, not just transactions. With nine fully integrated offices on four continents, we consistently identify the most appropriate strategic buyer and uncover hidden acquisition targets. C.W. Downer & Co. delivers the reach of a bulge-bracket investment bank with the senior level focus of a boutique. For more information, visit http://www.cwdowner.com.

For Further Information:

Charles DelGrande, Managing Director
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C.W. Downer & Co.
+1 617 482 6200

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