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Mid-tier boosts R&D practice with acquisition

A mid-tier firm has acquired a boutique firm’s research and development tax practice as it looks to shore up the service line amid renewed client interest.

M&A Aidan Curtis 21 May 2020
— 1 minute read

Grant Thornton has announced the acquisition of Glasshouse Advisory’s R&D tax incentive practice.

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The acquisition will see the 10 staff of the Glasshouse Advisory team join Grant Thornton across its Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne offices, with its national innovation and incentives leader, Sandra Boswell, joining the firm as a partner.

Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for tax, Nicole Bradley, said the acquisition comes at a crucial time where there has been a resurgence in businesses looking to fast-track their R&D claims to access cash flow.

“Remembering that R&D isn’t limited to scientific experiments, but can also include operational efficiencies and system improvements, there are a wide range of companies that are accessing the R&D incentive program to continue to reinvest in their business,” Ms Bradley said.

“At times like these, the additional cash flow that comes from the program will be critical for businesses.”

Ms Boswell said the acquisition comes in the wake of recent changes to the rules around access to the R&D incentive program.

“It’s a delicate balance between investing in innovation and growth, and the R&D programs and government grants are an important component of this,” Ms Boswell said.

“We support our clients to navigate the complexity of the tax system, and we’re excited to have access to the wider tax and advisory expertise at Grant Thornton.

“It’s a wonderful fit, and we have an exciting future.”

IPH Limited, owners of Glasshouse Advisory, said they see the transfer to Grant Thornton as the next stage in the boutique firm’s R&D business.

“Since our acquisition of Glasshouse Advisory as part of the Xenith Group in August 2019, we have undertaken a detailed review of the Glasshouse Advisory business and concluded that these aspects of the business would be better placed within a specialist business, more closely aligned to their service offering,” IPH chief operating officer John O’Shea said.

“Grant Thornton is a natural home for these practices and their focus on innovation and R&D will be of huge benefit to the Glasshouse team and their clients.”

The transition of the Glasshouse team into the Grant Thornton R&D team is expected to be completed by 25 May.

Mid-tier boosts R&D practice with acquisition
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