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Yorkshire acquisition for Cheshire accountancy firm

Holmfirth-based Michael Bell & Co has been acquired by Langricks Chartered Accountants in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

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Yorkshire acquisition for Cheshire accountancy firm

"Michael was looking for a successful exit and we were looking for a foothold in Yorkshire with a well-respected independent firm. It was the right time to take the next steps. "
Chris Langrick, Director, Langricks

The deal, which formalises long-standing ties between the two firms, doubles the size of the Langricks’ business, taking the headcount to 19 and turnover in excess of £1 million and adds key tax and audit expertise to its existing compliance and advisory services.  It represents a significant milestone in the company’s ambition to be a top 100 accountancy firm by 2028.

Both Michael Bell and Chris Langrick are Huddersfield born and bred and the acquisition is a natural extension of a well-established professional and personal relationship.  They are also both KPMG alumni. Michael is a former president of Huddersfield Society of Chartered Accountants and launched Michael Bell & Co in 1989. Chris Langrick set up Langricks in 2009.

Commenting on the deal Chris Langrick said: “There is a great deal of trust and respect between the two companies and now is the right time for us to take the next steps.  Michael was looking for a successful exit and less day to day operational responsibility. We were looking for a foothold in Yorkshire with a well-respected independent brand.”

Michael will continue to deal with complex tax matters for clients and support the promotion and development of the business in the Yorkshire market.  On the acquisition he said: “I am feeling really positive about it. Our clients and the team have got an exciting future to look forward to.”

Chris Langrick was keen to stress that it would be very much business as usual in Holmfirth. “We will be continuing to provide the quality of services expected of us across the client base and we are very focused on staff development. With expansion across the M62 corridor there will undoubtedly be increased opportunities to grow careers with us and benefit from our ambitions to be a top 100 accountancy business to work for.”

The acquisition follows the hiring of non-executive director Andrew Milnes 12 months ago, who took another independent firm to a top 100 positioning.  He is passionate about the role of the independent accountancy practice in supporting ambitious SME owners.

“Ultimately for independents it’s about having a high quality team delivering excellent service  – doing the basics very well – and developing and expanding top end advisory services alongside. This is something that Langricks excel at already and will be at the heart of growing a bigger organisation.”

Chris did not rule out more acquisitions on the road to top 100 status. “There is definitely more opportunity to work with independent practice owners looking for exit solutions as part of our journey.”