Baker Tilly close to missing merger

The GT deal fell apart after months of negotiations but Kidsons and Baker Tilly celebrated this week after going public on a merger that will create a £150m firm with almost 300 partners and becomes the eighth biggest in the country.

The merger transforms the mid-tier landscape throwing Horwath Clark Whithill out of the top ten and pushing consolidator Tenon and PKF down a place in the rankings.

Continuing under the Baker Tilly brand the new firm sees the end of the Kidsons name which had been in use since 1875. Senior figures insist the adoption of the existing Baker Tilly brand and the loss of Kidsons was an easy decision to make and was made early on in the negotiations.

Laurence Longe, of Baker Tilly, will continue as national managing partner of the new firm, while Ray Greatorex, former national managing partner of Kidsons will take up the new post of executive chairman.

Reflecting on Kidsons near miss with GT Longe said: ‘From our perspective at that time it was a missed opportunity. It would have been a missed opportunity for both businesses, that’s apparent now.’

Longe believes Kidsons brings long needed representation for the firm across the Midlands and the north of the country while HLB gains the benefit of a strengthened position in London and the South East from the deal.

The merger will appear as a triumph for Greatorex who had worked hard to transform Kidsons in the wake of the failed attempt to merge with GT.

When GT negotiations collapsed Greatroex made public his view that Kidsons was out of the market for a national merger. However the Baker Tilly opportunity was too good to miss.

‘As it happened the changes had a quicker effect that might otherwise have been the case. We were merger ready,’ said Greatorex.

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