Accounting and advice network CountPlus has acquired a 40 per cent interest in Victorian-based O’Brien Accountants & Advisors.
It is the first transaction for the ASX-listed business since announcing a change to its business model, moving away from a majority-owner proposition to minority stakes to free up capital to establish a broader network of firms.
O’Briens four principals, Mark O’Brien, Chris Mullins, Nellie Fung and Daniel Vogelpoel will remain with the firm. Originally founded by Mark O’Brien’s father, the firm has revenues of around $4 million, with financial planning services now accounting for approximately 30 per cent of total revenue.
The acquisition extends CountPlus’ network from 16 to 17 partner firms and is expected to be earnings accretive in the first year. Consideration for the investment is a cash payment of $1.164 million.
“The O’Brien acquisition begins the growth chapter for CountPlus, as we shift from looking within, to identifying external opportunities to grow our network,” said CountPlus chief executive Matthew Rowe.
“Our selective criteria eliminated a relatively large field of potential candidates, with O’Brien the first to meet the hurdles we require.”
“I believe the transaction speaks volumes about the CountPlus renewed culture, commercial focus and a desire to seek out Australia’s highest quality professional services groups,”
O’Brien principals Mark O’Brien and Chris Mullins welcomed the announcement, noting that the investment model would see Countplus remain an equity partner alongside firms that “own and drive” their future growth and profitability.
“O’Brien has experienced consistent revenue with year-on-year growth. We have room for further improvement and upside,” said Mr O’Brien.
“We welcome joining the CountPlus community and look forward to helping achieve the goal of becoming Australia’s leading network of professional accounting and advice firms.”