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ParenteBeard Confesses It Is in Merger Talks With Baker Tilly

We were tipped to this about two weeks ago but unfortunately our tipster failed to include an email address or any details that we could confirm (THANKS A LOT, GUY). Now, we could have just run it but that would go against our journalistic sensibilities, so we sat on it until we could get to the bottom of it:

ParenteBeard is being bought out by Baker Tilly. Finalized today

That tip came in June 6. You will note the firm's language to the Philadelphia Inquirer today:

ParenteBeard, a Philadelphia-based accounting firm that employs nearly 1,000 CPAs and staff at offices across Pennsylvania, in the New York area, Baltimore, and Dallas, has been in merger talks with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, a Chicago firm that employs 1,500, both firms confirmed this morning after I called to ask about staff memos detailing the discussions. The proposal would result in ParenteBeard being merged into the larger firm under the Chicago firm's name and leadership.

"We are currently involved in ongoing discussions with Baker Tilly, and we look forward to providing more detailed information as we advance the discussion and planning process, but we are not in a position to share additional information at this time," said ParenteBeard boss Robert Ciaruffoli, in an emailed reply.

It appears as though ParenteBeard is not taking the Steve Kass approach to merger talks, telling staff a merger would make the firms the 12th largest in the country. The memo sent to staff also assures them a merger wouldn't render many of them redundant as Baker Tilly Virchow Krause is strong in the Midwest and ParenteBeard sticks to the Northeast market.

As far as we understand it, things are still in the early stages. If and when we hear more, we will let you know. If you have details, do get in touch so we can share with the class.