Five partners and 70 staff from KPMG Cairns are to join Grant Thornton International in Australia as of 1 May 2014.
Grant Thornton Australia described the deal as a merger which supports the firms "strategic growth agenda".

KPMG said the exit of Cairns is a "mutually agreed decision" adding that it "follows a winding back of sub-license agreements globally by KPMG International, and also reflects the desire of KPMG’s national and Cairns practices to pursue different strategic directions".

"We are excited to grow with North Queensland businesses, particularly in the tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and indigenous business sectors," Grant Thornton said.

The deal is also likely to enable growth opportunities in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Asia, according to Grant Thornton Australia.

M&A trend continues
The recent deal continues to indicate the competitive market in Australia where over the past 24 months there has been a surge of M&A and firm moves.

At the end of January PwC acquired MGI Melbourne adding to its succession planning, self managed super funds, wealth and advisory services for high net worth individuals and family and private businesses.

The six partners of MGI Melbourne and their staff have joined PwC’s Private Clients Melbourne team.