Eide Bailly LLP, North Dakota’s largest accounting firm, announced that it will merge with Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Henry Scholten & Co. LLP.

Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close June 1, were not disclosed.

Scholten's nine partners and 45-member staff will join Eide Bailly, bringing the combined firm’s ranks to more than 170. Kevin Doyle, partner-in-charge at Eide Bailly in Sioux Falls, told The Argus Leader that the firm will continue hiring throughout the year, and plans to open a new building within the next three years.

Eide Bailly estimated that the merger will add $5.2 million in revenues, increasing the revenue for its Sioux Falls office to about $20 million. Eide Bailly has 13 offices in eight states, and hopes that the merger will allow it to further diversify its services and attract clients that might previously have looked to the Big Four, or competing financial services companies, as well as helping in the recruitment of younger professionals looking to work in a speciality area.

Both firms serve clients in the ethanol, health care and construction industries, as well as working for some of South Dakota's public companies.

Eide Bailly ranked No. 26 on Accounting Today’s 2007 Top 100 Firms list, with revenues of $84 million. In 2006, the firm acquired Wolf Etter and Co., a Minnesota-based CPA firm with 100 employees, and a 15-member firm in Billings, Mont.

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