Simon Gilbert

Member Article

Major accountancy move

One of the region’s largest independent accountancy firms has expanded by acquiring a leading Black Country practice.

Baldwins accountants has bought out Gravestock & Owen, which has been based in Willenhall for almost 40 years.

The move will see Baldwins take on two new premises in the town, giving it 10 full service offices across the West and East Midlands, stretching from Stourbridge to Nottingham.

It is the fourth acquisition the company has made in the last 12 months following previous acquisitions in Coventry, Nottingham and Kinver making a total of 17 overall.

Steve Southall, a director of Baldwins who is moving to Willenhall from the company’s Stourbridge office, said the addition further strengthened the company’s area of operation.

“This is a very natural move for Baldwins and Gravestock & Owen. We have expanded previously by organic growth and acquiring businesses, that like us, are very much rooted in the Black Country commercial communities,” he said.

“That local knowledge combined with the highest level of corporate accounting expertise has proved successful for Baldwins and our clients.

“Gravestock & Owen has been based in Willenhall for around 40 years and is a firm which is very well known and respected by the Black Country business community.

“As we have with our other businesses, we want to take those strengths and add to them, as well as bringing the advantages of the wider range of services a larger group can bring.

“We are really looking forward to taking the new team on board and dealing with the Gravestock & Owen client base which includes companies from a very wide range of sectors.”

John Baldwin, who has built up the company over the last 40 years, added that the company was still looking for further growth opportunities.

He said: “We have other areas in which we want to expand and certainly we expect there will be further acquisitions in the next 12 months or so, but very much following the model that has served us and our clients so well.”

The transaction is being funded with the support of the group’s bankers, NatWest.

The bank’s local Director of Structure Finance, Mike Johnson commented: “We have been delighted to again work closely with Baldwins’ management team towards the completion of this further strategic acquisition. As John Baldwin has indicated, the firm has a tried and tested business model which has underpinned our appetite to support the business to this point and into the future.”

Gravestock & Owen, which has offices in Market Place and New Road, was founded in 1974 and employs around 25 staff.

Malcolm Owen, a founder of the business, said: “We have grown the business over the years but felt it was time to move it to a new level.

“Baldwins has a proven record both in terms of the range of expertise it offers clients, but also in the way it has developed a truly regional practice while still providing a very local service to businesses.

“It is a very exciting time for both companies.”

Baldwins is a family run company founded in 1971 and has grown under the direction of John and David Baldwin. It has offices in Walsall, Stourbridge, Tamworth, Loughborough, Nottingham, Ashby, Coventry and Leamington and employs around 170 staff.

PICTURE CAPTION: (From the left), Sean Emery, Steve Southall and Ed Hill (all Baldwins)

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Gilbert .

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