Major deal to take accountancy firm to £125m business

Ade Cheatham

Castle Donington-based accountancy firm Cooper Parry has bought Haines Watts London and its audit and advisory businesses across the South East and the Midlands.

The deal sees Cooper Parry add 11 offices across London, the South, Birmingham and the Midlands to its existing portfolio, increasing its workforce to 1,150 and turnover to £125m. This represents a tripling in size for the firm over the last 12 months since Waterland Private Equity invested in the firm.

The move follows Cooper Parry’s previous acquisitions of London-based companies iHorizon and Acclivity (both in February) and Future Perfect in April. The Haines Watts deal will establish Cooper Parry as the UK’s 11th largest accountancy firm.

Ade Cheatham, Cooper Parry CEO, said: “We’re always looking for firms that are a right fit, culturally and strategically. As a result, we’ve got to know Michael and his management team over the best part of five years.

“In that time, we’ve been impressed by their growth and recognize the like-minded nature of both firms. Working alongside them, this deal underlines our determination to create the UK’s next gen accountancy firm.

“Bringing together two great businesses as one strong team takes our London headcount to over 500 people. It also elevates us to the next level as a UK mid-market heavyweight. In addition, the strong bank of specialist talents and diverse client base in London, the South and right across the Midlands will allow us to continue to outperform the market.

“We now have genuine momentum and can demonstrate real strength and scale in London. What’s more with more strategic hires, specialist team lifts and continued geographic expansion via M&A, we’ve created a platform for future growth.”

Michael Davidson, Haines Watts managing partner, added: “I am extremely proud of the growth we have achieved over the past 10 years, of which the London region has been a significant contributor.

“As we look to the future, we feel Cooper Parry are an ideal fit for our future as we can plug into their progressive, next generation and proven approach to both people development and client service, offering a compelling choice for ambitious owner managed businesses, and a thriving culture for our people.

“This is an exciting and rare opportunity to drive quality and change in the mid-market, as we look to further the Cooper Parry brand in London and the surrounding areas.”