IPA INSIDER 2021 Year in Review Part I: M&A

If 2022 emerges as a particularly busy year for M&A deals – as many experts and industry observers predict (and as one early big deal seems to suggest) – it will be difficult to surpass 2021. From major combinations to niche-specific additions, the M&A market was percolating this past year. Among the hundreds of deals we reported on in the IPA INSIDER, here are a few notable transactions from the past 12 months that involved pairings of IPA top firms.

THE MEGA DEALS IN 2021

CLIFTONLARSONALLEN AND BLUMSHAPIRO JOIN FORCES IN A MEGA MERGER

The M&A marketplace began with a bang in 2021, as IPA 100 firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) (FY20 net revenue of $1.2 billion) merged in West Hartford, Conn.-based IPA 100 blumshapiro (FY19 net revenue of $90.8 million) in a deal that closed on Jan. 1, 2021. More than 500 blumshapiro team members were part of the deal and continued to provide auditing, accounting, tax and business advisory services to clients from the firm’s offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia, increasing CLA’s presence in the region to more than 1,150 people.

BDO USA AND MBAF TEAM UP IN A POWERHOUSE IPA 100 PAIRING

Just weeks after the mega merger of CLA and blumshapiro, Chicago-based BDO USA LLP (FY20 net revenue of $1.8 billion) and Miami-based MBAF (FY19 net revenue of $141.2 million) joined forces on Jan. 16, 2021. Founded in 1969, MBAF was one of the largest Florida-based accounting and firms and one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the region. MBAF was named an IPA Best of the Best firm for 19 consecutive years. As a part of the combination, MBAF affiliates WhiteOwl and Fiscal Management Associates LLC (FMA) also joined BDO, with WhiteOwl becoming part of BDO Digital. A management consulting firm for non-profit leaders, FMA became BDO-FMA LLC, adding a boutique non-profit practice to BDO’s ongoing presence in the sector.

ARMANINO EXPANDS INTO MIDWEST WITH IPA 100 ACQUISITION

San Ramon, Calif.-based IPA 100 firm Armanino LLP expanded into the Midwest in August 2021 by acquiring St. Louis-based IPA 100 firm Brown Smith Wallace. Brown Smith Wallace brought expertise in the private equity, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries, as well as in specialty services such as construction audit, property tax compliance and consulting and cost segregation. Brown Smith Wallace MP Tony Caleca assumed the role of Midwest market leader and is leading its St. Louis offices, which serve as the Midwest market hub for Armanino. He also became a member of the Armanino operating committee, the firm’s primary leadership group.

BAKER TILLY ACQUIRES IPA 200 FIRM

Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Baker Tilly (FY21 net revenue of $1 billion) acquired Charleston, W. Va.-based IPA 200 firm Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP (ACT) (FY20 net revenue of $37 million). ACT served clients in the region for more than 75 years, with practices in health care reimbursement, outsourcing services and retirement plan consulting. As part of the deal, ACT’s 275 team members joined Baker Tilly and CEO James Hunt became MP of Baker Tilly’s Pennsylvania and West Virginia markets, overseeing offices in both states.

SAN FRANCISCO IPA 100 FIRM BPM MERGES IN IPA 200 FIRM

Making a mark in Southern California, San Francisco-based IPA 100 firm BPM LLP (FY20 net revenue of $129.9 million) acquired Gumbiner Savett of Santa Monica, Calif. The acquisition was BPM’s third deal in the region within the past two years. Founded more than 70 years ago, Gumbiner Savett provided assurance, tax and consulting services to a diverse array of clients. The firm had 10 shareholders and approximately 100 staff members at the time of the deal.

CBIZ MOVES WEST

Establishing a presence in the Pacific Northwest, Cleveland-based IPA 100 firm CBIZ (FY20 net revenue of $824.7 million) acquired the non-attest assets of IPA 200 firm Berntson Porter & Company (FY20 net revenue of $26.4 million) of Bellevue, Wash. Founded in 1985, Berntson Porter’s 120 employees provided tax, forensic, valuation and transaction services to clients in a wide range of industries. Concurrent with the acquisition, Kansas City-based Mayer Hoffman McCann PC announced the acquisition of the attest assets of Berntson Porter. Also in 2021, CBIZ acquired the non-attest assets of San Francisco-based IPA 200 firm Shea Labagh Dobberstein (SLD) (FY20 net revenue of $30.3 million). Likewise with this transaction, Mayer Hoffman McCann PC acquired the attest assets of SLD. Founded in 1944, SLD provided accounting, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The firm had approximately 94 employees.

CROWE ACQUIRES TEXAS IPA 100 FIRM

Expanding its presence in Texas, Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Crowe LLP (FY21 net revenue of $925.9 million) merged in Houston-based IPA 100 firm Briggs & Veselka (FY20 net revenue of $53.1 million). Founded in 1973, Briggs & Veselka provided audit, tax and a variety of consulting services. As part of the deal, Briggs & Veselka CEO and MP Sheila Enriquez joined Crowe as partner, Texas market leader and a member of the Crowe management committee. In addition, 33 partners from Briggs & Veselka were admitted as Crowe partners.

EISNERAMPER ACQUIRES IPA BEST OF THE BEST FIRM

New York-based IPA 100 firm EisnerAmper LLP (FY21 net revenue of $456 million) and West Palm Beach, Fla.-based IPA 200 firm Caler Donten Levine Cohen Porter & Veil (CDL) (FY20 net revenue of $25.2 million) joined forces in 2021. Founded in 1987, CDL provided audit, tax and advisory services to growing and mid-sized companies in sectors such as family office, restaurant and hospitality, professional services, non-profit, life science and biotech, manufacturing and distribution, real estate and construction. EisnerAmper also acquired IPA 300 firm Goldin Peiser & Peiser LLP of Dallas. Founded in 1994, GPP provided audit, tax and advisory services to growing and mid-sized companies in sectors such as health care, manufacturing and distribution, real estate and construction. The firm had eight partners and a staff of 75.

PKF O’CONNOR DAVIES SNAPS UP IPA 200 FIRM

New York-based IPA 100 firm PKF O’Connor Davies (FY20 net revenue of $211.8 million) expanded in New England with the acquisition of Woburn, Mass.-based IPA 200 firm DiCicco Gulman & Company (DGC) (FY20 net revenue of $37.3 million). A team of 200 professionals led by 24 partners, DGC provided private client, business tax, assurance and accounting, and business advisory services. DGC now operates as DGC, a division of PKF O’Connor Davies, and DGC MP Laurie Austin and partner Donald Troy assumed the roles of New England co-MPs, while partner David Sullivan Jr. joined the firm’s executive committee.

WITHUM ACQUIRES IPA 300 FIRM

Among several deals it made throughout 2021, Princeton, N.J.-based IPA 100 firm Withum (FY21 net revenue of $313.7 million) merged in San Francisco-based IPA 300 firm OUM & Co. LLP (FY20 net revenue of $19.6 million). Founded in 1976, OUM provided assurance, audit, tax, SEC compliance and client accounting and advisory services to public, private and high-net-worth individual clients. As part of the deal, OUM’s 11 partners and approximately 80 team members joined Withum while remaining at their locations in San Francisco and Carlsbad, Calif.

 

 

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