The deal capitalises on growth in Melbourne’s north, fuelled by the government’s Inland Rail project.
Bentleys snaps up Victorian boutique firm, eyes regional expansion
Mid-tier firm Bentleys has bought boutique accountants Riverwood Group to boost its footprint in regional Victoria.
The deal will add Riverwood Group’s three offices in Hawthorn, Woodend and Kilmore to Bentley’s network.
John Delmo, chairman of Bentley’s Victorian arm McLean Delmo Bentleys, said the acquisition of Riverwood Group aligned with the firm’s ambitions to expand in the state.
“We are excited about the growth opportunities in regional Victoria. Joining forces with another firm with similar values that already has a presence makes sense,” he said.
“The coming together of two firms offers two-way benefits – both firms will benefit from joining forces and most importantly – so will our clients.”
Mr Delmo said the growth north of Melbourne made it the “ideal time” for expansion into the region.
“We think it is the ideal time to expand our footprint, particularly with the growth north of Melbourne from various infrastructure projects including the Beveridge Intermodal Precinct. We expect communities such as Woodend and Kilmore will grow with the anticipated jobs – and population – that will come with this new freight and logistics hub.”
In March, the federal government acquired 1,100 hectares at Beveridge, 40 kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD, to develop one of three Victorian precincts for its Inland Rail project.
The Beveridge precinct is expected to be open in 2024–25 and fully operational by 2028–29. It is set to be twice the size of the country’s current largest hub, located in Moorebank, NSW, and will support up to 20,000 jobs in the region.
Riverwood Group director Caroline Johnston said joining the Bentleys network allowed her firm to broaden its offerings to clients, which included manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, service providers and primary producers.
“The change brings an exciting new chapter to our firm’s long history in the region. Our clients in regional Victoria will benefit from the expanded suite of services and industry expertise that we can now offer in-house,” she said.
The acquisition is the latest in a string of accounting mergers, with the Perth-based Carbon Group making seven acquisitions in the past year, tripling its headcount to 300.
In recent months, RSM has also purchased boutique firms Arc Accounting and Granleese McEwen, expanding its presence in regional Western Australia and Victoria respectively.