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September 2, 2013

Baker Tilly UK shareholders approve RSM Tenon takeover

Baker Tilly UK’s shareholders voted in favour of the acquisition of RSM Tenon, therefore allowing the firm to complete the acquisition of the trading operations of RSM Tenon.

On the 22 August, RSM Tenon went into administration after Lloyds Banking Group, RSM Tenon’s creditor, decided it would not be willing to grant a covenant waiver and the firm failed "to meet its liabilities as they fall due".

Immediately following the appointment of Deloitte UK as administrators a pre-pack deal was agreed with Baker Tilly, which bought RSM Tenon Group trading entities.

The deal was subject of approval by Baker Tilly UK’s shareholders, largely composed of the partners, and a vote was scheduled for 9 September.However, Baker Tilly UK said in a statement that its shareholders "unanimously" approved the move over the weekend.

Baker Tilly UK said in the statement: "RSM Tenon will continue trading under that name for a short period of time while a rolling programme of integration gets under way to seamlessly create one newly merged firm operating as Baker Tilly."

The firm said RSM Tenon’s 2,300 partners and staff across 35 UK offices are said to remain "unaffected by the acquisition".

Baker Tilly UK national managing partner Laurence Longe said: "This merger is an excellent outcome for the clients, partners and staff of both firms. Bringing the professional skills, strengths and expertise of Baker Tilly and RSM Tenon together as one firm will significantly enhance our offering to the market and provide further opportunities for growth both nationally and internationally."

Improved market positionWith the deal Baker Tilly is likely to report annual fee income of about £400m, which would put it into the race for the largest mid-tier network spot in the UK. Grant Thornton UK currently holds that position with fee income of £417.1m in 2012; however since BDO UK has almost doubled in size by merging with PKF UK earlier in the year the gap has closed between the two. In 2013, BDO UK’s fee income is expected to be between £370m and £400m.

If Baker Tilly UK hadn’t made its move on RSM Tenon the gap between itself and BDO UK and Grant Thornton would have been more than £200m in fees, which would have put it at a significant disadvantage.

The deal leaves RSM in search of a new UK member firm.

Related articles:

RSM Tenon sold to Baker Tilly UK in pre-pack

Analysis: Baker Tilly UK’s interest in RSM Tenon

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