Chadwicks shuns consolidators and is acquired by ambitious AMS

Ebrahim Sidat

Ambitious regional professional services business AMS Group has acquired Chadwicks, an audit firm based in Manchester, to strengthen their market position in the North West mid-market and as part of their buy-and-build strategy.

Led by entrepreneur Ebrahim Sidat, the group expects to make two more acquisitions this year.

It has also emerged that Paul Lupton has played a big part in the ongoing strategy of AMS, which is rebranding from Signature Group. 

Paul Lupton

Lupton is the firm’s Head of Group Strategy, and has been “exceptionally supportive and transparent throughout the process and we are confident we have made the right decision for our clients,” according to Sidat.

Chadwicks, one of the largest regional Chartered Accountancy firms in the North West (with over £4m Gross-recurring Fees) had been approached by several consolidators looking to sweep up practices of this side in a huge shake up of the professional services market, but Michael Chadwick, Founder and Managing Director of Chadwicks said AMS had a better cultural fit.

“We were approached by a number of organisations, but the outlook taken by the AMS Group team stood out. As the founder of a family-run business, I recognised the strong alignment in our cultures and values. Given the current trajectory of the accounting industry, partnering with an advisory-led platform like the AMS Group, rather than a mainstream consolidator, was essential. This decision assures that my clients and staff will have a bright future, which has always been my top priority.”

Ebrahim Sidat, Chief Executive Officer, AMS Group, said: “The acquisition of Chadwicks in a key milestone in achieving our vision to serve the mid- market, with a full advisory-led firm (with the breadth and depth of services offered by the top 10 firms), It gives the AMS Group the capacity to take on additional accounting and audit clients, with the addition of c 55 accounting staff (including 4 Responsible Individuals for Audit purposes). Chadwicks brings a very experienced client management team, which will continue post-acquisition, and would create a more robust platform for future growth.

“Chadwicks also has a healthcare team and sector specialism to support the market-leading healthcare team within the Group.

“In line with the AMS Group’s client relationship-led approach, and the addition of five strategic acquisitions in the past three years (to broaden our advisory service lines for clients), we can now add more value to the Chadwicks’ client-base by providing them with more of the services they require.”

In 2022 AMS acquired Seneca Corporate Finance, led by partner Gordon Lane.

Boasting a 3 Year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.3%, the Chadwicks deal is its second acquisition for this year, and Sidat says two more are planned.

The strategy has been supported with lending from OakNorth Bank.

Sean McCormick, Associate Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth, said: “With the UK’s accounting and audit market set for significant growth in the future, AMS Group is in a perfect position to capitalise on this tailwind via its exciting and already highly successful ‘buy and build’ strategy. We look forward to working closely with Ebrahim and David again moving forward, whilst also keeping an eye on what’s next for the firm’s impressive growth journey.”

David Clegg, Senior Partner and Head of Business Development, said: “The acquisition of Chadwicks will substantially increase the capacity for the Group to capture more of the ‘lost opportunities’ that we were unable to onboard from our client origination team (due to capacity constraints).

“With Chadwicks’ strong reputation within the North-West, (as evidenced by their outstanding Net Promoter Score (NPS) and ‘excellent’ Trust pilot score), we are confident that we can achieve greater organic growth due to our enhanced market position, whilst also maintaining high client satisfaction rates for future years. 

“The AMS group are on track to surpass their 2024 target of £20m revenue. Each of the client-delivery teams across the Group have experienced substantial growth with over 200+ employees and 10+ offices Nationwide.”


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