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Leeds-based Sagars merges with Anderson Anderson Brown LLP
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Sagars becomes part of expanding AAB group

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Leeds-based Sagars has joined forces with a Scottish business services group to become part of a £40m combine offering accounting and audit services alongside payroll, HR, wealth management and more.

11th Nov 2021
Editor at large AccountingWEB
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Presented as a merger, the transaction brings the mid-size Yorkshire firm Sagars into the Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) group alongside Hardie Caldwell, a Glasgow-based accountancy firm acquired earlier this year.

The deal was concluded barely two weeks after AAB secured investment from August Equity to fuel its expansion plans.

Could we be witnessing the beginnings of another Azets/Baldwins-style private-equity M&A blitz? If the merged organisation achieves its ambitions to hit £70m turnover by 2026, it will be knocking on the door of the top 20 in accountancy’s league tables.

Yet AAB’s service portfolio doesn’t quite fit the profile of your typical top tier accountancy firm.

While Sagars, Hardie Caldwell and another joint venture entity within the group provide audit services, the parent organisation is best known for its global payroll and employment tax services. The AAB group also includes consulting, HR, wealth management and a whistleblowing/fraud prevention specialist called SeeHearSpeakUp.

According to former Sagars partner Paul Lodder, now with Dext, Sagars managing partner Chris Jones and AAB chief executive Graeme Allan know each other well. Both firms have worked closely together for many years, so any overtures would have had an inside track.

Joining a bigger group with a strong technology track record will help Sagars accelerate its own efforts to develop new opportunities around automated accounting. “Having leading firms working together will create economies of scale for additional services, so more can be done for clients and creating greater opportunities for the team,” said Lodder.

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