Accounting firm Weaver and Tidwell said it planned to merge with Patterson, Newman & Associates on Jan. 1, allowing Weaver and Tidwell to expand its energy practice.

Houston-based PNA specializes in conducting audit and consulting services for the Environmental Protection Agency and companies in the petroleum industry.

Two of the partners from PNA, along with a chemist, will join Weaver and Tidwell as part of the merger. William Newman will be the partner in charge of Weaver and Tidwell's energy attestation practice. Wade Watson will also join the firm as a partner and will help Newman manage the energy attestation practice. PNA chemist Charles Flaniken will join the combined firm as a consultant and contract employee.

"Our firm does a lot of energy audits that are required for refineries and companies that import energy," said John J. Mackel III, a Weaver and Tidwell partner and director of energy services. "They also do a lot of these audit attestations. It was a good fit for our clients and for us. We see a lot of opportunity with all the renewable fuel companies."

Mackel also hopes to draw on Newman's experience and contacts. "Bill Newman has been in the industry since the '70s and has a lot of contacts," he said. "He's very well known in the industry and will be a huge resource for our office and our clients."

There were no buyout payments to acquire PNA, Mackel added. His firm has approximately 300 employees in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth.

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