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Accountants SKS Business Services and Bailey Group announce merger

SKS Business Services is pleased to announce its merger with award-winning Durham-headquartered chartered accountancy and tax advisory practice Bailey Group

Bailey Group is headquartered in Peterlee, County Durham, and operates from ten offices located across the North-east.  The business provides high-quality accounting services to more than 3,000 SME customers. 

Now known as SKS Bailey Group, it will operate as part of SKS Business Services, which now contains 13 accountancy and insolvency practices operating from 25 offices across the UK servicing nearly 11,000 clients.

The new up-scaled operation means the firms can offer a more personalised service to their clients while enhancing their finance outsourcing and business advisory capabilities, as well as undertaking greater investment in technology to meet the needs of clients.

SKS’s buy and build strategy has delivered strong revenue growth from £5.6 million in June 2018, to over £16.8 million (at 21 September 2020, pro forma for the Bailey acquisition). With the addition of Bailey Group, SKS’s consolidated group EBITDA has increased from £1.2 million to £4.8 million in the same period (with the Bailey merger contributing £1.8 million of this EBITDA).

London-headquartered SKS now has a presence in five out of the eight UK regions, including London and  the South East of England, the East of England, the North West of England and now also the North East of England.  It aims to become one of the leading nationwide accounting services providers to UK SMEs.

The funding for the acquisition was provided under a committed acquisition facility of £20 million by Shard Credit Partners.  In recent years, SKS has successfully acquired eleven businesses using funding from Shard Credit Partners.  

Sanjay Swarup, Managing Director of SKS, said: “Our merger with Bailey Group is a huge leap forward towards attaining our goal of becoming  a national firm. 

“SKS’s infrastructure enhances Bailey’s capacity, allowing its accountants to spend more time advising clients through these extra-ordinary times we find ourselves in.  

“Pooling together complementary strengths from each firm will expand the services on offer to our clients and develop current relationships further. We look forward to gaining expertise from the Bailey Group and look forward to developing many new business opportunities together.

“SKS is all about helping firms such as Bailey Group achieve this quickly and successfully.  We are also speaking to other firms  in the North East and across the UK who are interested in merging with SKS, and expect to unveil further accountancy firms joining SKS Group in the near future”. 

Christopher Bailey, CEO of SKS Bailey Group, said: “Bailey Group is delighted to merge with SKS Business Services, it is a prestigious group that will help us provide the highest level of client service.

“I look forward to continuing my role within the new SKS Bailey Group. Merging with SKS provides us with the opportunity to offer a service that is centred on advisory, backed up with a range of more sophisticated services.  This is important to us, particularly in the current climate, as so many local businesses are facing financial problems and are looking for practical help and guidance from their accountants to plan for an uncertain future. We look forward to continue growing across the North East as part of the SKS group.”

Shard Credit Partners CEO, Alastair Brown, said: “SKS’s acquisition of Bailey Group in Peterlee, County Durham, represents a landmark in its nationwide expansion strategy.  We began our relationship with SKS nearly three years ago and this is its largest acquisition so far”.

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