Transaction

Clearwater advises Cooper Parry on its acquisition of Haines Watts

Transaction

Waterland Private Equity portfolio company Cooper Parry on its acquisition of Haines Watts

Acquisition Finance

Undisclosed

Role

Adviser to Cooper Parry on its acquisition of Haines Watts

Sector

Business Services

Region

United Kingdom

Clearwater advises Waterland-backed Cooper Parry, the UK’s fastest growing accountancy firm, on financing of its acquisition of Haines Watts London and its associated audit and advisory businesses across the South East and the Midlands.

The deal sees Cooper Parry add 11 offices across London, the South, Birmingham and the Midlands to its existing portfolio, increasing its workforce to 1,150 and propelling turnover to €145m (£125m). This represents a tripling in size for the firm over the last 12 months since partnering with Waterland Private Equity in 2022 (a deal advised by Clearwater).

Cooper Parry has experienced impressive organic growth with more than 25% compound growth over the last three years. The latest deal acquiring Haines Watts will establish the business as the UK’s 11th largest accountancy firm.

Further driving Cooper Parry’s ambition to become a leading adviser to mid-market businesses is the continued shift to a more specialist advisory firm. The deal underlines the strong synergy between the two firms; both businesses have complementary cultures, talented and knowledgeable teams, a tech-enabled approach and an enhanced client proposition, which have been key drivers behind the merger. The deal also adds a wealth of tax, audit and accountancy expertise to amplify Cooper Parry’s already successful business.

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We’re always looking for firms that are a right fit, culturally and strategically. As a result, we’ve got to know Michael and his management team over the best part of five years. In that time, we’ve been impressed by their growth and recognize the like-minded nature of both firms. Working alongside them, this deal underlines our determination to create the UK’s next gen accountancy firm. Bringing together two great businesses as one strong team takes our London headcount to over 500 people. It also elevates us to the next level as a UK mid-market heavyweight. In addition, the strong bank of specialist talents and diverse client base in London, the South and right across the Midlands will allow us to continue to outperform the market. We now have genuine momentum and can demonstrate real strength and scale in London. What’s more with more strategic hires, specialist team lifts and continued geographic expansion via M&A, we’ve created a platform for future growth.

Ade Cheatham, CEO, Cooper Parry
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As part of supporting us with a transformational acquisition and associated refinancing, Clearwater built a detailed financial model allowing us to clearly demonstrate the historical and future performance of the group to various stakeholders. The model was critical in the refinancing process, was built with scalability in mind, and will be used by the business going forwards. The Clearwater team were very supportive throughout the whole process, going above and beyond to ensure we ended up with a powerful model tailored for our needs.

Jim Aldred, Treasury and Reporting Director, Cooper Parry

I am extremely proud of the growth we have achieved over the past 10 years, of which the London region has been a significant contributor. As we look to the future, we feel Cooper Parry are an ideal fit for our future as we can plug into their progressive, next generation and proven approach to both people development and client service, offering a compelling choice for ambitious owner managed businesses, and a thriving culture for our people. This is an exciting and rare opportunity to drive quality and change in the mid-market, as we look to further the Cooper Parry brand in London and the surrounding areas.

Michael Davidson, Haines Watts Managing Partner

It’s an exciting period for Cooper Parry - the transformational acquisition of Haines Watts has created a rebellious business of real scale. Since Waterland’s investment, which was advised by Clearwater’s M&A team, Cooper Parry has enacted its strategy at pace. We’re delighted to have worked with the business once again to help it secure the Haines Watts acquisition and we’re sure Ade and the team will continue to go from strength to strength.

Tom Barnwell, Partner, Clearwater

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