BHP shows appetite for growth with merger deal

David Mitchell and John Warner
David Mitchell and John Warner

Leading Sheffield-based accountancy firm Barber Harrison & Platt has this week merged with the accountancy and advisory arm of Leeds and Harrogate based Mitchells Group.

The merged firm will have a turnover approaching £10m and a combined team of approximately 190 people.

BHP Managing Partner John Warner said: “BHP has always been keen to expand its presence into the Leeds and Harrogate area and we are delighted to welcome David and his team on board. The combination of our integrated range of specialist advisory services and market sector expertise with David’s ambitious plans for continued growth, gives us the ideal platform to create the significant mid-market advisory firm in the region”.

BHP has for many years been the largest firm in South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire, winning Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year for the last three years, and over recent years has grown to be the largest independent in Yorkshire.

David Mitchell is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in Mitchells, which is the fastest-growing firm in Leeds and Harrogate with fee income having increased at an average rate of 40% per annum since 2006. 2010 has been the firm’s most successful year to date, despite the recession, with a number of significant client wins particularly in the larger corporate sector.

Mr Mitchell said: “We share the same philosophy in terms of client care and the importance of providing a full business advisory service. The additional resources of BHP will enable our dynamic approach to growth to continue unabated”.

The merger, which will see the firm trade as BHP Mitchells in Leeds and Harrogate, will consolidate the firm’s position in Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, BHP has announced its membership of Kreston International, a global network of independent firms.

Kreston International has members in 94 countries with 700 offices. This provides a resource of over 19,500 professional and support staff. This international capability is a major development for BHP, enabling the firm to offer its clients a global resource for accounting, auditing, taxation and business advisory services.

John Warner said: “I am delighted we have become a member of Kreston International. The benefit this will have for our clients is enormous.

“The world appears to be shrinking and an increasing number of our clients have overseas operations. These clients can now use the services of other Kreston members based overseas, with the assurance that they will be looked after by an approved firm with the same high quality standards and expertise as BHP.

“Our membership of Kreston International enhances the service that we can offer to our clients and further reinforces our position as the leading independent accounting firm in Yorkshire and North Derbyshire”