Acquisitive accountancy firm merges with entertainment heavyweight

A Leeds-headquartered accountancy and advisory firm has merged with a practice which specialises in the entertainment industry and names Emeli Sandé as one of its clients.

Hentons, which also has offices in Thirsk, York and Sheffield, has merged with London-based C. C. Panayi & Co. The combined firm will trade as Hentons Panayi.

C. C. Panayi & Co was founded by Chris Panayi, whose passion for music helped develop an entertainment industry specialism that now works with many leading artists both domestically and internationally.

The move follows a year of growth for Hentons, which has expanded both the client base and geographical footprint across North Yorkshire win the last 12 months. The practice acquired York-based firm Forster Stott & Co in February 2018.

Hentons now has a team of over 100 across five offices focusing on business advisory, audit, accounts, tax planning and wealth management. Hentons has expanded its presence in the entertainment sector with one of the largest specialist teams in the region.

C. C. Panayi was founded in October 1980 in which Chris Panayi and works with an impressive musical client base ranging from artistes and record producers to recording studios and labels. Hentons Panayi also holds expertise in an extensive list of other music and entertainment related businesses including theatres, writers and photographers.

Emeli Sandé, four times Brits winner with multi-million records sales, said: ‘’The whole team at Hentons Panayi are more than just accountants. They fully understand the importance that business management plays in the music industry.’’

Guy Chambers, English songwriter, musician and record producer, who has worked with many international artists including Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner, added: “The team at Hentons Panayi understand the unique demands of the entertainment business and really go the extra mile to support artists. I look forward to working with the larger team.”

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has provided Hentons with a funding line to support the merger. It follows the bank providing a multi-million-pound facility to assist Hentons’ previous round of acquisitions.

Nadeem Ahmed, managing partner of Hentons, said: “We have taken another step to accelerate our expansion plans and merged with the highly respected London based firm of C. C. Panayi & Co LLP. Recognised as one of the top accountancy firms in the music world, as featured in the Centtrip Music Legal & Accountancy 50 almanac, the London based team is highly regarded in the entertainment sector, and the experienced management team operates internationally.

“The move strengthens both teams by expanding geographical reach and providing a deeper mix of skill sets and experience. Hentons now strengthens its position as a UK top 100 accountancy firm with expertise covering a diverse range of sectors.”

Chris Panayi added: “We have been looking to partner with another firm which would enable us to enhance and add to the services that we have so far provided. Hentons is a firm that shares our ethos, professionalism and client care qualities and together, we can provide the first-class digital tools and a breadth of expertise that will add significant value to our clients.

“I and my partners, Effie Charalambous, Emma Panayi, George Antoniou and Iulia Rojcova, are greatly excited by the amalgamation, and the opportunities that being part of Hentons will develop in the future.”

The London based team supports a broad spectrum of professionals, service providers and trades of all descriptions. Its client base and experience are international with clients in Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, and throughout Europe.

Lee Rycraft, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Hentons has enjoyed rapid growth over the last year, with its latest merger offering the firm an excellent footing in the London market and a new sector.”

The legal advisory team for the merger were Weightmans and Beale and Company.

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