PracticeAccounting FirmsBDO leaves Numerica scrambling for a new buyer

BDO leaves Numerica scrambling for a new buyer

RSM Robson Rhodes has become the latest firm to hold talks to buy ailing consolidator Numerica after BDO Stoy Hayward backed out.

Link: Up-for-sale Numerica reports interim loss

BDO ended preliminary talks with Numerica last week over concerns about the compatibility of the two firms. Numerica announced in a statement to the stock exchange that it had entered into talks with another firm.

Based on the latest Accountancy Age Top 50 survey, Numerica is the fifteenth largest UK firm. Robson Rhodes is twelfth, while BDO is in sixth place.

A tie up with Robson Rhodes would see the combined firm become the eighth largest with fee income of more than £112m.

Numerica will be hoping this latest round of talks succeeds to avoid prolonged uncertainty. In September, it warned that it would make a loss for the six months to 30 September and made redundancies at its audit arm to cut costs. A service sector slowdown is understood to have put pressure on Numerica’s traditional client base.

If talks fail another option for Numerica directors and former partners in its acquired businesses could be to attempt a management buyout.

Phil Shohet, director of Kato Consulting, said: ‘They’ve got to carry on with the sale because there’s so much uncertainty among clients and staff.’

Jeremy Newman, managing partner of BDO, said: ‘We had concerns about how the two firms would fit. We are in the market place to expand by acquisition and we respond to opportunities that exist.’

A spokesperson for Robson Rhodes declined to comment.

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