Grant Thornton woos private equity

Michael Cleary, chief executive of Grant Thornton, today said he was in
discussions with private equity groups about the possibility of them investing
the firm.

‘We’re at an early stage in the discussions. It’s scenario planning at the
moment. But it’s for real,’ Cleary told the Financial Times.

Cleary’s comments followed suggestions from FRC chief executive Paul Boyle
that an injection of outside capital into the accountancy profession could help
mid-tier firms grow and mount a challenge to the dominant Big Four firms.

European Union law, however, could halt these plans, as the law stipulates
that accounting firms must be majority-owned by qualified accountants.

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