Firms confirm advanced merger discussions


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.

Derbyshire Companies' Revenues Soar to £4bn

Bondholder BDO launched its Derbyshire Growth Barometer at yesterday's Derby Property Summit, highlighting that Derbyshire’s fastest growing mid-sized companies have contributed almost £4bn in revenues in the last year, increasing 69% over the past three years.

The publication analyses the mid-sized market in the region, which boast turnovers ranging from £10m – £300m, and names the top 50 fastest growing businesses by average turnover growth in the last three years.

Fellow Bondholder Mortgage Advice Bureau topped the list with a phenomenal 534% growth over the past three years, leading the professional services sector to come out in first place for the fastest growing sector with an average growth of 107% overall, In addition, there has been a huge 88% increase in employment across the sector.

Professional services is closely followed by the manufacturing sector, which reported 100% growth in turnover and a 35% in job creation in the same time period.

Peter Brodnicki, Chief Executive of Mortgage Advice Bureau was interviewed as part of the report and said: “Although we have grown significantly since forming the company in Derby, our head office remains here as it is a great location to do business. Innovation and investment has been key to our business growth and we hope to continue to stay ahead of our competition”

BDO Partner Gareth Singleton, who heads up the Derbyshire team, was thrilled to see such a wide range of businesses featuring in the list: He commented: “Mid-sized, high-growth businesses are an essential and dynamic part of the county – yet these businesses are frequently overlooked and undervalued. We wanted to give a voice to these businesses and recognise these fast growing businesses.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: “Being at the centre of the Midlands Engine provides a platform for trans-regional collaboration, leading to the attraction of new business investment to Derbyshire. We need to continue to be a centre of innovation and ask ourselves the big questions that help us adapt to a changing economy.”