Columbus-based GBQ Partners has acquired Cincinnati-based Ernst & Rabe, effective January 1, according to published reports.

Ernst & Rabe has nine partners, and the combination will give GBQ 160 employees, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported.

GBQ has been aiming to grow in Cincinnati for some time, and began looking to acquire a year ago, managing director Darci Congrove told the Business Courier.

Bill Ernst, founder and managing member of Ernst & Rabe, will lead GBQ’s Cincinnati office. Partners Steve Rabe and Paul Gaffney will all stay with the firm as non-equity partners.

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