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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Takeover extends Rowlands’ reach

ONE of the North East’s largest independent accountancy firms has consolidated its business in Hexham with the acquisition of a second practice in the town.

Rowlands Accountants has taken over Tax Assist in Hexham, re-branding the latter’s office on Battle Hill as Rowlands.

The two members of staff joining the firm as part of the deal will be moved to the Rowlands branch in Gilesgate once the lease on their current building expires.

The acquisition expands the team in Northumberland from 12 to 14 specialists. The company, which was established in 1924, also has branches in Ponteland, Sunderland, Yarm, Crook and Birtley in addition to Hexham.

Rowlands’ partner Alan Hynd was the driving force behind the deal to acquire Tax Assist from Anna Beadle, who decided to sell up in advance of a move to Scotland. He said: “Tax Assist is a franchise. When I first contacted Anna a sale was already under way, but that fell through and we were able to capitalise.”

The deal was completed just before Christmas and makes Rowlands one of the biggest accountancy practices in the locality.

After running Tax Assist in Hexham for 10 years, Mrs Beadle decided to sell when her husband got a job as a teacher in Elgin.

She said: “I was looking for somewhere with a similar client base to me.

“While Rowlands is a bigger firm, it deals with a lot of small to medium sized businesses, so it’s a perfect fit, offering the type of service that my clients are comfortable with.”

The deal tops off a strong year for Rowlands as the North-East emerges from the economic downturn.

Mr Hynd said: “It’s not to say that we haven’t been affected by the recession, but we have been able to maintain our customer base through good management and strategic acquisitions. We are looking to continue to expand strategically and are open to discussions with businesses that could be an appropriate fit with ours.”

Rowlands offers taxation and planning, audit and accountancy, restructuring and insolvency and development and consultancy services.

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