Baker Tilly expands to Houston by merging in MiddletonRaines+Zapata

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Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, a Top 100 Firm based in Chicago, is adding Texas-based firm MiddletonRaines+Zapata, extending Baker Tilly’s footprint in the Lone Star State from Austin to Houston, with the deal expected to close by the end of the year.

Baker Tilly sees the merger as a way to expand to the largest city in Texas and the fourth biggest in the U.S.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Baker Tilly ranked 14th on Accounting Today’s 2018 list of the Top 100 Firms. The firm reported $578 million in revenue for 2017, while MRZ reported $13.15 million. Baker Tilly has 2,800 team members, including 283 partners, while MRZ has 75 team members, including 10 partners.

“MRZ is one of the fastest-growing accounting firms in Houston,” Baker Tilly chairman and CEO Alan D. Whitman said in a statement. “They are progressive and entrepreneurial and are an ideal partner for us in Houston.”

Both firms target clients in the construction, real estate, manufacturing and health care sectors. MRZ also caters to the oil and gas industry, while Baker Tilly specializes in private equity as well as tax credits and incentives.

“We are proud of our reputation for delivering innovative accounting and tax solutions through a high-energy, hands-on client experience,” MRZ managing partner Wesley Middleton said in a statement. “Joining forces with Baker Tilly gives us national resources and broader capabilities to better serve our clients and provide growth and development opportunities for our team members.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan D. Koltin advised both firms on the merger. “MRZ represents the type of firm that larger firms dream of aligning with – great leadership, dynamic growth, innovation, young, talented professionals and a passion for client service,” he stated. “Wes Middleton and his partners were courted by almost every major CPA firm in the country to become their Houston office. In the end, they loved Baker Tilly’s strategy, culture and leadership and knew it provided the best growth opportunities for their people and clients. Baker Tilly continues to be one of the highest-performing Top 15 CPA firms in the country. This combination is a huge step for them in Texas and I believe it is only the beginning of their expansion plans throughout the state.”

In August, Baker Tilly merged in RGL Forensics, a global financial investigations and forensic accounting firm.

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