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 as part of its continuing growth strategy to provide a better local service for customers.
The office in Battle Hill has been rebranded as Rowlands and the two staff joining the firm as part of the deal will be moved to the Gilesgate branch once the lease on their current building expires.
The acquisition expands the team in Northumberland from 12 to 14 specialists.
Rowlands, which was established in 1924, also has branches in Ponteland, Sunderland, Yarm, Crook and Birtley.
Partner at the company, 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.
Hynd said: “Tax Assist is a franchise.
“When I first contacted Anna, a sale was already underway but that fell through and we were able to capitalise.
“Negotiations started in October and it has been a very straightforward process.”
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 and a half years, Beadle decided to sell after her husband got a job as a teacher in Elgin.
She said: “I was in the midst of selling to another franchisee when Alan contacted me so I went back to him to see if Rowlands was still interested when the deal fell through.
“I was looking for somewhere with a similar client base to me. While Rowlands are a bigger firm, they deal with a lot of small to medium-sized businesses so have been a perfect fit, offering the type of service that my clients are comfortable dealing with. I’ve met Alan a number of times and the wider team is great and extremely professional.”
The deal tops off a strong year for Rowlands as the North East emerges from the effects of the economic downturn.
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.”