The process to merge Mazars and its US joint venture partner Weiser has been a “careful, deliberate evolution”, according to the Mazars president Patrick de Cambourg.
De Cambourg said the merger process has been ongoing for a year and has not been taken lightly.
Mazars has agreed in principle to merge, although it will not be finalised until partners from both firms have voted in favour of the proposal. A vote is expected to take place in late February or early March.
In the 1990s, Mazars had its own firm in the US but decided in 2000 to set up a joint venture with Weiser so it could concentrate on expanding its network in emerging economies.
“With the new economic situation and with the fact that the level of performance of the organisation in emerging markets is satisfactory, we said isn’t it time that we joined forces permanently in the US, with people we have been operating with for the past 10 years,” de Cambourg said.
“[Weiser] demonstrated that they are managing risk in the US market in a way that is prudent and efficient. That is why we feel comfortable to make such a move.”
The firm is expected to have combined revenue of about $120 million. Weiser has 600 staff in five offices in the north east of the US and is one of the larger mid-tier firms in New York.
Mazars recently served client interests in the US through joint ventures with Praxity Global Alliance members, such as Weiser, but stopped short of developing a permanent presence in the country due to the threat of litigation.
This proposed merger represents a shift in strategy for Mazars, which is a single global firm that has a presence in 50 countries.
Mazars reported global fee income of $1.06 billion in the year to 31 August 2009.