25 Nov 2016 11:58am

MHA MacIntyre Hudson on the acquisition trail

Cogital and its recently acquired accountancy group Baldwins aren’t the only hungry sharks circling in the pool of smaller accountancy firms looking to merge

Caption: MHA MacIntyre Hudson acquires two more firms this month

While the press has focused on the activities of Cogital and its chairman John Connelly, former Deloitte chairman and chief executive, which have seen the new group magic a turnover of some £300m through a number of strategic investments since July, top 20 accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson has been quietly making acquisitions, in particular over the past two years, and embarking on a fast-growth trajectory of its own.

In July 2015, it acquired Bloomer Heaven in Birmingham, followed by Reading-based MHA Reid Williams in January 2016 and then Shoesmiths, another Birmingham-based practice, in April.

In the last 10 days it has acquired KP Audit, a specialist provider of audit services to the investment management industry, including hedge funds, asset management firms and captive insurance companies, with offices in London and the Cayman Islands.

This move has given MHA MacIntyre Hudson its first overseas office as well as adding two new partners to the team.

Then this week, the firm announced it had completed the acquisition of part of Grant Thornton’s Northampton practice, including 10 staff who are experts in the healthcare sector.

Commenting on the KP Audit acquisition, MHA MacIntyre Hudson chairman Rakesh Shaunak said that the move provided “an immediate and material entry into a part of the investment market that is key to delivering the firm’s strategic plan”.

“This is a very significant deal for the firm,” he added.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson now boasts a headcount of 70 professional staff and 15 offices.

In 2014, the firm was ranked 18th in the top 20 accountancy firms in the UK. In 2015, it crept up to 17th place and is now firmly embedded at 16th with fee income of £50.6m.

Keeping that momentum going will be more difficult, however: last year, the firm in 15th place, UHY Hacker Young, was well ahead of MHA MacIntyre Hudson with fee income of £56.7m. And UHY has been on its own acquisition trail this year.

In October 2014, MHA MacIntyre Hudson joined the international network of Baker Tilly International, following the departure of the UK firm of Baker Tilly (now renamed RSM UK) to the RSM network.

Julia Irvine


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