BDO is in advanced merger discussions with business services company Moore Stephens.
The new company will have a turnover of £590 million and employ 5,000 staff, in London, Reading, Birmingham and Bristol. It plans to be the leader in advising the UK’s entrepreneurial mid-sized businesses but will also challenge its larger competitors for more complex audit, tax and advisory work.
The proposed deal further cements BDO’s position as the first-choice auditor for AIM businesses. The combined firm will be one of the top auditors in the country based on the number of UK-listed companies it audits.
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 $8billion and operating in 162 countries.
The deal is expected in spring 2019. Partners of both firms have voted in favour of the merger, subject to final contracts.
Paul Eagland, managing partner at BDO, said: “If ever there were a time for firms to turbo-charge their growth, it’s now. As a combined firm, we offer greater choice, competition and scalability to the top-end of the market, and are better placed to deal with any economic disturbance from Brexit.
Shared culture and values
“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.”
He emphasised that the firm was in a good position to take advantage of competition in the audit market in the wake of the Carillion scandal. The merger could also lead to further consolidation in the sector.
Managing partner of Moore Stephens Simon Gallagher said: ““To be entering final discussions to create the largest UK accountancy firm focused on entrepreneurially-spirited and fast-growing businesses is exciting – and critical for market competition. The proposed merger provides a platform for continued, sustainable growth, as well as offering something different to the market at this important time.
“Clients are asking us to deliver an ever-increasing range and depth of solutions, provided globally. Combining with BDO makes providing that much easier.