Private equity-backed accountancy firm makes eighth acquisition

Richard McNeilly

Private equity-backed Dains Group has swooped for NHS VAT specialists, CRS VAT, which is based in London.

Dains has bases in Derby, Birmingham and offices across the UK. The firm now employs over 650 people.

CRS VAT founder Chris Silk said: “Having been established for 21 years, CRS VAT is delighted to join forces with Dains as we continue to grow our market share across the UK. “With Dains’ support, we will be able to provide an enhanced service to our clients and connect to an incredible network of advisors across the group.”

Richard McNeilly, CEO of Dains, said: “What attracted Dains to CRS VAT is their commitment to technical excellence and client service; they stay abreast of NHS client needs and legislative changes to develop solutions to address client challenges.

“With a focus on the NHS, CRS VAT has become a leading VAT service provider for the sector, delivering increased VAT recovery and tailored advisory services. The team is a natural fit, complementing Dains’ expertise in providing services to the public sector following the acquisition of Opto Group in 2023.”

Nick Burrows, managing director of Opto Group, said the move is perfect for clients and the CRS VAT team.

He added: “Our business is built on the quality of our people and our clients. Bringing CRS VAT into the group will allow us to leverage our combined expertise, to become the UK’s largest specialist public sector tax team, delivering high quality professional tax services to a complete range of public sector bodies. Investment from Dains will enable the business to continue to grow and provide enhanced career opportunities for our talented teams.”

Luke Kingston, partner at Horizon Capital, said: “Richard and the team at Dains have now completed their eighth acquisition and we are delighted to have supported the group to this milestone. We share everyone’s enthusiasm for the significant opportunities created by bringing such likeminded businesses together.”

Dains was advised by DSW (financial and tax due diligence), Forward Corporate Finance (financial modelling) and CMS (legal). CRS VAT was advised by Thrings (legal).

In January, Dains bought Midlands-based Magma Chartered Accountants and Dublin’s McInerney Saunders Chartered Accountants.