Scots accountancy firm AAB seals 'milestone' push into Ireland

Scottish accountancy and business services group Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has gained a significant Irish presence after sealing a new merger deal.

FPM is an audit, accounting, tax and business advisory firm with revenues of some £9.5 million and a team of more than 120 people across five office locations, in Belfast, Balbriggan (Dublin North), Newry, Dungannon and Mallusk.

That makes the firm much smaller than Aberdeen-headquartered AAB, which also has Scottish operations in Edinburgh and Glasgow, though the deal is being billed as a merger.

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The nine FPM shareholder directors are all remaining in their current roles and will continue to drive the growth of FPM as part of AAB Group.

The deal is seen as another major step forward in the Scottish firm’s growth journey as it becomes a group with £50m-plus revenues and 550-plus staff in ten offices across the UK and Ireland.

Bosses said the group would continue to actively pursue its organic and merger growth plans, looking to strengthen its team with further recruitment across all locations, and continue to identify “attractive” opportunities which augment the firm’s current activities.

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Chief executive Graeme Allan said: “This merger is a very important milestone for the group. With FPM, we gain an impressive team with a great reputation and significant presence across the island of Ireland.

“There is a strong cultural fit between our firms, and at the heart of this is a passion for helping team members and clients achieve their goals, which makes us hugely excited about the opportunity this merger presents.”

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Feargal McCormack, managing director at FPM (left), and Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB. Picture: Darryl Mooney Photography

Feargal McCormack, managing director at FPM, said: “The synergies across our teams, service provision and sector specialisms provide a fantastic platform for exciting future growth. In addition to this, we were attracted to AAB as the group has impressive global connections and experience working with high-growth SME businesses and large corporations internationally.

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“This instantly gives us the capabilities to do even more for our clients, wherever they wish to do business across the world, whilst also providing our teams with enhanced opportunities to progress and develop as part of a larger group.”

No financial details surrounding the latest deal have been disclosed.

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In November, AAB agreed a tie-up with Leeds-based peer Sagars to expand its UK regional presence.

The two firms said at the time they were on track to deliver a combined £40m-plus revenue in the current financial year with a “clear strategy in place” to deliver £70m group revenue by 2026.

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Sagars will maintain its own brand following the merger but shall become part of the AAB group.

AAB said Sagars’ complementary geographic presence would further enhance the wider AAB group as a key player in the accountancy and business services market in the UK, adding Leeds to its offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

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That tie-up came after AAB secured a “significant” investment from a private equity firm to fast-track growth and fund acquisition deals. The group struck the deal with August Equity as it looks to build market share across the Central Belt and further grow in the English market.

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Scots accountancy firm AAB expands UK footprint with key 'merger' deal