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Today’s news in brief – 28/5/2024

KPMG UK and KPMG Switzerland have agreed to merge their partnerships, creating a $4.4bn business that will become the second largest in the KPMG network. The merger aims to leverage complementary strengths and technology solutions to enhance services in audit, tax, legal, and advisory sectors. Jon Holt, CEO of KPMG UK, will lead the new partnership as group CEO, while Stefan Pfister, CEO of KPMG Switzerland, will be group deputy CEO. The merger will establish a new limited liability partnership and a group executive committee to drive sustainable growth. Both firms will maintain separate management for daily operations.

Xeinadin has acquired Sheil Kinnear, a long-established accountancy practice in Wexford, Ireland, marking its 20th M&A move in two years. Sheil Kinnear serves a diverse client base, from small businesses to large SMEs and multinational subsidiaries, specialising in accounting, tax compliance, and business advisory. This acquisition aligns with Xeinadin’s growth plans to become the most trusted advisor for business owners. Derry Crowley, CEO of Xeinadin, praised Sheil Kinnear’s reputation and local expertise, while David O’Connor, director of Sheil Kinnear, highlighted the merger’s potential to expand services and provide greater opportunities for their team.

Grant Thornton has appointed Philippa Hill and Vijay Rathour as heads of its UK Forensic practice, following the retirement of Will Davies. Hill, with over 20 years’ experience, will lead forensic and investigation services, specialising in accounting disputes, professional negligence, and misconduct matters. Rathour, a digital forensics expert and adviser to the UN on cyber-crime, will lead cyber and digital investigations. Hill emphasised the growing demand for high-quality forensic input due to economic and geopolitical disruptions, while Rathour highlighted the importance of data analysis, cyber diligence, and operational resilience in supporting clients.

James Cowper Kreston has advised Heidelberg Materials UK on acquiring Mick George Group, a major construction and demolition waste recycler in East Anglia and the East Midlands. The acquisition, involving over 40 sites and annual revenue of approximately £220m, aligns with Heidelberg’s Net Zero goals. The Competition and Market Authority’s concerns led to a divestment proposal, allowing the merger to proceed. Brad McAvoy and Nikul Patel led the advisory team at James Cowper Kreston. Simon Willis, CEO of Heidelberg Materials UK, highlighted the acquisition’s fit and its significance in advancing circular alternatives for concrete products by 2030.

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