Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer and Torbet LLP plans to merge with Frost PLLC at the beginning of next year.

The merged firms will be known as Frazer Frost LLP and will continue to operate out of their current offices in Arkansas, California and North Carolina. After the merger, Frazer Frost will represent business in 47 states in the U.S. and 15 countries internationally.

The firm will be led by co-managing partners Dean Yamagata, who will be in charge of West Coast operations, and Dan Peregrin, who will run Midwest and East Coast operations.

Annual revenues will be approximately $60 million and the firm will employ a total of 272 people. That would place it around No. 42 on Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Firms.

“It is a great milestone to be ranked by revenues among the top 50 accounting firms in the country,” said Peregrin, who is currently a managing partner at Frost, in a statement.

The two firms have a relationship stretching back decades. “We’veknown Frost for about 20 years through our association with MooreStephens North America,” Yamagata, who is currently managing partner at Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer and Torbet LLP, told WebCPA. “We got together withthem for discussions about merging together because we have relatedstrengths and specialties. This made sense to get more services for ourcurrent client base and to potentially clients across the nation.”

Yamagatanoted that the two firms have had informal merger discussions overapproximately the past five years, but the discussions intensified inthe past year. Both firms are contributing about $30 million each tothe merger, and Yamagata described the transaction as a merger ofequals. The merger becomes effective Jan. 1. Brea, Calif.-based Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer and Torbet, LLP, currently has three offices in California while Frost PLLC, has three offices in Arkansas and North Carolina. Both firms are members of the Moore Stephens North America accounting association and plan to continue their membership despite the name change. Little Rock, Ark.-based Frost also shortened its name last year from Moore Stephens Frost (see Moore Stephens Frost Shortens Name).

Frost has been busy of late with M&A activity. The firm acquired another Arkansas firm, Ervin & Co., in October (see Frost Acquires Ervin & Co.). Last December, it acquired Raleigh, N.C.-based Lynch & Howard and Fayetteville, Ark.-based Rick J. Tanenger CPA PA.

Both firms have built practices over the past five decades that specialize in the animal agriculture industry, according to Yamagata. The merger will combine the two firms’ expertise in the dairy production, animal agriculture, food processing and construction industries, as well as their rapidly expanding international business.

Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer’s West Coast offices have a great deal of experience working with Chinese and Pacific Rim companies that are publicly traded in the U.S., Yamagata added. The firm also has a strong niche in the construction industry.

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