CBIZ, Inc. has acquired Laurus Transaction Advisors LLC, a Denver-based business that provides buy-side and sell-side financial and accounting due diligence services for M&A transactions to private equity firms along with public and private companies, effective Feb. 1, 2018.

Laurus has done more than 650 financial and accounting due diligence engagements and projects for private equity firms and companies across the U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Laurus recorded revenue of approximately $5.6 million in 2017. It will become part of CBIZ’s Transaction Advisory Services group.

As part of the deal, Laurus co-founders and partners Patrick Martin and Mark Coleman will be joining CBIZ. They will both become managing directors at CBIZ CMF. “The acquisition of Laurus further strengthens our position as an industry leader of professional business services to middle-market focused private equity firms,” said CBIZ president and CEO Jerry Grisko in a statement. “Mark and Patrick both share CBIZ's commitment to exceptional client service and we are excited to have them as key leaders in our national Transactional Advisory Services group.”

CBIZ headquarters in Cleveland
CBIZ headquarters in Cleveland Courtesy of CBIZ

Laurus won’t be part of CBIZ’s affiliated auditing firm Mayer Hoffman McCann, which CBIZ as a publicly traded company has an alternative practice arrangement with as CBIZ MHM.

“People don’t outsource their accounting to us,” said Martin. “Laurus mostly sells to private equity groups that are interested in buying other businesses, and they’re asking us from a service perspective to really analyze the businesses that they’re looking to buy and make sure that they understand the financial story behind those companies that they’re looking to invest into. We’re not an audit firm. We’re not a tax firm. We don’t do outsourced accounting. We’re strictly doing buy side and sell side financial and accounting due diligence. On the sell side we’re typically hired by individual companies, either through a private equity referral or an investment banker referral who is looking to sell themselves, and we sometimes help prepare those companies for sale, but really it’s the same thing we do on the buy side. It’s just for purposes of a sale, we prepare them for going through a financial due diligence process.”

There will be approximately 30 people in the financial and due diligence practice joining CBIZ as part of the deal. They will be part of CBIZ CMF LLC.

“One of the big reasons for doing this transaction is the synergies that exist between CMF, which is an acquisition that CBIZ made last July, and Laurus,” said Martin. “Both businesses do very different things but have very strong connections and clients in the private equity community, so the synergies between us are very large. That was part of the excitement for us as Laurus, coming in and knowing that there’s a huge amount of upside with respect to that combination of businesses. We’ll be falling under the CBIZ CMF LLC platform. It’s really separate from MHM. Whereas they are the attestation arm, if you will, of CBIZ, we are the consulting arm of CBIZ. We’re very excited about it. We think it’s a great combination and we’re looking forward to being part of it.”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.