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UPDATED: Baker Tilly completes RSM Tenon acquisition

UPDATED: 15.13 02/09

BAKER TILLY has completed the acquisition of RSM Tenon’s trading operations.

The acquired firm will continue to trade under its own name “for a short period of time” until it operates under the single Baker Tilly brand.

The jobs and employment rights of RSM Tenon’s 2,300 partners and staff, across its 35 offices, wil be unaffected.

Laurence Longe, (pictured) Baker Tilly’s national managing partner, said, “This merger is an excellent outcome for the clients, partners and staff of both firms. Bringing the professional skills, strengths and expertise of Baker Tilly and RSM Tenon together as one firm will significantly enhance our offering to the market and provide further opportunities for growth both nationally and internationally.”

RSM Tenon’s parent company entered administration on 22 August with practitioners Matt Smith, Nick Edwards and Clare Boardman of Deloitte appointed as joint administrators. On appointment they immediately sold the trading entities to Baker Tilly in a pre-pack deal.

The sale was dependent on the shareholders of Baker Tilly, largely composed of the partners, voting for its approval. Accountancy Age understands this vote took place on Friday.

A pre-pack administration is where the sale of a business is marketed and organised prior to it entering an insolvency process. The whole or part of the business is sold immediately on appointment of administrators.

At the time of the pre-pack sale announcement, a statement from Baker Tilly said it has acquired the trading operations “free from the burden of the group’s [RSM Tenon’s] historic debt obligations” in order to create an “enlarged and financially strong Baker Tilly group”.

“This transaction allows for the ongoing success of RSM’s Tenon’s profitable trading businesses, free from the burden of the group’s historic debt obligations, as part of an enlarged and financially strong Baker Tilly group. We believe that this is an excellent outcome for RSM Tenon’s clients and employees,” it said.

Following the discovery of accounting irregularities in 2011, RSM Tenon management restructured the business and engaged in a cost cutting exercise. However, RSM announced that its sole lender Lloyds Bank would not renegotiate banking covenants earlier this year, largely because the firm had changed so dramatically in the course of the year.

RSM Tenon announced in June that it was in merger discussions with Baker Tilly. However, Baker Tilly said in August it would not make an offer for RSM Tenon’s parent company which held all the debt. Baker Tilly subsequently bought the trading entities, which were not in administration and were free from debt, from the Deloitte administrators.

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