Baker Tilly Ukraine is planning to merge with
Grant Thornton International’s Ukraine member firm, effective by
the latest 1 January 2012.

Baker Tilly Ukraine said the merger will
enable the firm to narrow the gap with the Big Four in country. The
firms managing partner Alexander Pochkun told the International
Accounting Bulletin
the newly merged firm will now be
positioned between KPMG, which is the smallest Big Four firm in the
country and BDO.

“We have had a strong 15-20% organic growth in
the past three years and we are now looking to grow additional 20
to 25% as a result of the merger,” Pochkun said.

“We are confident that this merger will
strengthen significantly choice within the audit market in Ukraine,
providing a new alternative to Ukrainian and international

Grant Thornton has already found a replacement
for its former Ukrainian member in audit and consulting firm Legis
Group. The firm will become a partner in the joint venture of Grant
Thornton Armenia and Grant Thornton Cyprus, which will operate as
Grant Thornton Ukraine.

The current Grant Thornton Ukraine managing
partner Vitaliy Kazakov, who is moving to Baker Tilly, said the
firm’s decision to withdraw from the Grant Thornton International
network is balanced and deliberate.

“We are keen to improve the competitiveness of
the merged company, as well as to leverage the industry experience
of staff and partners,” Kazakov said.

Grant Thornton International said the new firm
will have 50 staff and offer audit, tax and advisory services.

Grant Thornton International chief executive
Ed Nusbaum said the network is, “delighted to have reached an
agreement with Legis Group and its partners that allows us to
strengthen still further our already strong presence across the CIS

“We are also pleased that senior managers from
our exiting firm will be joining the new firm to give continuity to