Last month we broke the news of LarsonAllen and Clifton Gunderson feeling each other out about a possible merger. At the time, Clifton Gunderson CEO Krista McMasters told Going Concern that the two firms were simply in “exploratory discussions” and it wasn’t a story. Sorta like when two celebrities are seen vacationing on a yacht together. Everyone just assumes they’re banging, will eventually be a couple and the new celeb couple name game begins instantly. However, it turns out that they are “just friends” who are “enjoying time together.” For this particular round, our sources told us that LA and CG were “50/50,” that LarsonAllen had approved the merger and that the new merged firm would be known as CliftonLarsonAllen. Again, at the time of our discussion, Ms. McMasters denied that anything had been decided.
Well, today, it appears that the “exploring” went pretty well and the name game was right on the money:
Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen have confirmed they plan to merge in the New Year into a combined firm known as CliftonLarsonAllen. The two firms said Tuesday they would combine, effective January 2, to create one of the top 10 accounting firms in the U.S., with combined revenues of between $550 million and $560 million.
Not to nitpick but by Accounting Today’s count, the combined revenues would be closer to $470 million. I haven’t punched a 10-key in a number of years but that’s the number I got. I guess sometimes you just gotta take their word, amiright? ANYWAY, since these two firms were simply in “exploratory discussions” it’s pretty impressive that they were able to slap this deal together so quickly isn’t it?
The two firms began discussions in the spring and made rapid progress. “As often happens in our profession, firms get together to talk about what it might look like if they ever were to come together and how they might help each other,” said LarsonAllen CEO Gordy Viere.
Gosh, I must have a warped idea of what “exploratory” means. And by “spring” I assume that’s the period between late March and late June? And by rapid progress, does that mean, in three months they were still in “exploratory discussions” and nowhere near a deal, only to fall into each other’s arms less than a month later? I need help with this.