Bondholder BDO, and fellow accountancy and business advisory firm, Moore Stephens LLP have confirmed they are in advanced merger discussions, with deal completion expected in spring 2019.
As well as advising the UK’s entrepreneurial mid-sized businesses, the new firm will aim to challenge its larger competitors for more complex audit, tax and advisory work.
The combined firm will have gross annual revenue of £590m delivered by 5,000 people across the UK. The firm will take on the BDO brand, as it will remain part of BDO globally, the largest mid-tier accountancy organisation in the world with revenues of over $8bn and operating in 162 countries. It will be one of the top auditors in the country based on the number of UK-listed companies it audits.
Partners of both firms have voted in favour of the merger, subject to final contracts.
The proposed deal relates only to Moore Stephens LLP – consisting of offices in London, Birmingham, Reading and Bristol.
BDO managing partner Paul Eagland said the combined entity would offer "greater choice, competition and scalability to the top-end of the market" and would be "better placed to deal with any economic disturbance from Brexit".
"If ever there were a time for firms to turbo-charge their growth, it’s now," he added. "It was clear from our first meeting that we share similar culture and values.
"As professional services firms, our people are our greatest asset and it is essential that we create an enlarged business that retains the best of our similar cultures. Both firms are full of innovative people who are experts in their field – this will continue.
"BDO is in a great position in the market, both in the UK and across the world as part of an $8bn BDO global organisation.
"In the last 12 months – in the wake of Carillion and the subsequent focus on competition in the audit market – the UK market now has a better appreciation of BDO’s capability and quality. This deal increases our credibility further and proves our commitment to competing in the top-end of the market.