Baldwins investment creates £300m accounting group

ACCOUNTANCY’S NEW CONSOLIDATOR has scooped up high-flying Midlands firm Baldwins, in a deal that rapidly expands its reach.

CogitalGroup backed by HgCapital, now consists in the UK of London firm Blick Rothenberg, and Baldwins. It has also recently purchased Visma, an outsourcer of accounting and payroll based in the Nordic region, which services 20,000 businesses. The group was launched in August.

John Baldwin, director of Baldwins, said: “We undertook significant diligence on who to work with in relation to our future investment partners and we are delighted to have the opportunity to join CogitalGroup and work with HgCapital. We are also pleased to welcome John Connolly onto our board.”

Baldwins has 27 offices across the UK and plans to continue its strategy of acquiring quality firms as it builds out its regional network of practices.

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Blick Rothenberg, Visma BPO and Baldwins will form the newly launched CogitalGroup with each business continuing with their existing brands. The CogitalGroup, chaired by John Connolly, former global chairman of Deloitte and for 12 years its CEO, has been established to create a new presence in the advisory services market.

Thorsten Toepfer, a director of HgCapital, said the latest investment was “in line” with its “sector-focused approach”. : “Working together our goal is to build a substantial international business that provides superior service.”

Roar Wiik Andreassen, CEO Nordics and International, said of the Visma deal: “We are very happy to be joining this new Group and retaining a relationship with HgCapital which has been a long term shareholder in Visma. We will develop further in the right direction and strengthen our services.”

When the transactions complete over the next few weeks the group will have over 3,200 people based in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the UK and with a significant nearshore centre in Romania. The pro-forma group revenue will be circa £300m.

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