PracticeConsultingRead the merger small print.

Read the merger small print.

Mergers come and go, but the attempt at communion between Grant Thornton and HLB Kidsons has been painful and embarrassing.

Nine months ago the two firms launched themselves into the media spotlight when they announced they would come together to form a firm worth #230m and with more than 300 partners. Seemed to good to be true, and it was.

Perhaps one of the most telling mistakes was attempting to fool everyone that this was a coming together of equals. To everyone else it was a take over. The new firm would be called Grant Thornton and the larger firm made all the running placing deals on the table for Kidsons to mull over.

When Grant Thornton withdrew their first offer to make a much reduced one it became obvious they were calling the shots.

The result – Kidsons turned in on itself as it realised not all offices and partners were in on the deal. Indeed having failed to merge twice in recent times, the firm is in disarray, standing on the brink of disintegration.

It’s a lesson in these times of consolidation of what can happen if the offers are not properly thought through – especially for smaller players.

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