Accountancy Age exclusive: Consolidated firm set for £70m debut

It is understood RZH has raised the £50m capital target it set for itself last December, as revealed by Accountancy Age – in a move which will produce a major change to the mid-tier.

The company – which will be the first UK accountancy firm floated on the stock market – is expected to be publicly unveiled early next week.

Stock market rules prevent the company from revealing the details of the new company, but director John Harrison, said: ‘Our fundraising is going exceedingly well and we have been involved in a lot of discussion with mid-tier firms which have gone well.

‘We have broken off talks to raise the capital and when we have completed the process we will return to discussions. We will be making an announcement in the near future,’ he added.

RZH has been negotiating with 30 mid-tier practices with the aim of forming a business services company with billings over £100m shortly after launch.

The aim is to buy the firms with a view to buying them for cash and shares, subject to regulatory approval by the English ICA. The consolidation process could eventually include firms from outside the profession however.

Although the name of the new company has yet to be revealed, it is thought the chief executive of the company will be Ian Buckley, the former managing partner of Smith & Williamson.

The news comes as Nottinghamshire-based Jobtel, which has also emerged as a consolidator, and which has met 20 mid-tier firms, revealed it will be making an announcement before the end of the month.

It has predicted it will attract £160m in fee income within five years, putting the new player just behind the Big Five according to the 1999 Accountancy Age Top 50.

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