The UK’s ninth-largest firm, Baker Tilly has a fee income of around £80m a year, with around 140 partners and just under 700 professional staff.
However it denied it had acquired Hampshire-based Harris Walters, despite the size difference between the firms. Harris Walters will be rebranded Baker Tilly, but the software arm will continue to operate under its current name.
Talks between the firms began in February and the two firms have formed a close relationship since Harris Walters licensed its Toolkit software.
The firm will take a 75% stake in the software company and is planning to invest upwards of £750,000 into the company. One plan is to expand the software company into the US later this year.
Laurence Longe, Baker Tilly national marketing partner, denied the firm was only interested in the software part of the business. He said: ‘The accountancy profession is being transformed and clients now demand a wide range of services from commercially astute business advisors, while the merger of the practices will enable us to grow in the South.’
Managing director of Harris Walters, which produces the Strategic Planning Toolkit and Wealth Tracker software for smaller businesses, Richard Walters, added: ‘The merger with Baker Tilly will provide us with the funding and support we require to grow our software business.’
Recent consolidation activity has included Oxfordshire-based mid-tier firm BKR Haines Watts, number 17 on the Accountancy Age Top 50 league table, revealing it has been approaching like-minded firms over recent months with a view to bringing them on board.
Accountancy Age exclusively revealed Levy Gee was the leading player behind Numerica, a consolidator designed to build an integrated business services group.
Meanwhile, Longe added Baker Tilly was involved in exploratory talks with a view to acquiring a number of other firms. He would not rule out a merger with Horwath Clarke Whitehill, despite talks between the firms falling apart earlier this year.
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