BDO’s member firm in Australia has merged in PKF’s practice on the East Coast of the continent, expanding the firm's presence after it retrenched earlier this year.

The merger, which takes effect on July 1, adds PKF’s Melbourne and New South Wales offices and combines the BDO and PKF offices in Brisbane. The merger will expand BDO Australia’s capacity to approximately 160 partners, more than 1,300 staff members, and estimated revenues of $240 million.

This announcement comes less than three months after BDO International Limited’s revocation of its licensing arrangements with its former practices in Sydney and Melbourne, and re-establishes the network’s presence in these markets.

“The completion of this agreement within such a short timeframe is both remarkable and a testament to the strength of the BDO brand,” said BDO International Limited CEO Martin van Roekel in a statement. “I am delighted that we have established a strong, vibrant and long-term presence in Sydney and Melbourne. The two firms enjoy many synergies and a cultural alignment focused on client service. I am delighted to welcome them to BDO and look forward to seeing commensurate growth in BDO Australia as a whole.”

BDO had expelled its practices in Victoria and New South Wales in March, citing "unreasonable risks" to the network's financial stability, according to a report by SmartCompany in Australia. The Australian Financial Review had earlier reported that when combining the firm's Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra offices, the firm borrowed tens of millions of dollars in unsecured loans to enable partners to cash out the value of their goodwill. Grant Thornton reportedly has agreed to step in to bail out the struggling practices.

The global BDO network includes 1,118 offices in 135 countries and more than 48,000 people providing advisory services. The combined fee income of all the BDO member firms last year was $5.67 billion.

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