Belfast Telegraph

Takeover adding up as Grant Thornton agree new deal

By Peter Flanagan

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has moved closer to matching the "Big Four" in Ireland after it agreed a deal to takeover RSM Farrell Grant Sparks.

The deal has been described as a merger between the two companies. In practice, however, the new firm will operate as Grant Thornton and will be led by current Grant Thornton Ireland boss Paul McCann.

The new firm, which is said to be "one of Ireland's largest in audit, tax and advisory practices", will have 750 staff and 51 partners.

It will have offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Belfast, Langford and Kildare. Terms of the sale, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not released.

The deal entrenches Grant Thornton as the fifth accountancy firm in Ireland, behind PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.

According to industry magazine 'Finance Dublin', Grant Thornton and RSM Farrell Grant Sparks took in aggregate fees of €132.5m (£92m) last year. That compares to fourth-placed EY, which brought in €166m (£116m). The next biggest firm, BDO, had billings of €55m (£38m).

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