Count equity firm makes Qld acquisition

Countplus mergers and acquisitions M&A Hugh Humphrey

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An equity partner firm of Count has purchased a Brisbane-based accounting business for nearly $1 million, as Count drives forward its inorganic growth momentum.

Count currently owns a 57.6 per cent equity stake in 4Front, a Queensland-based professional services and advisory business.

In an ASX announcement on 16 May, the firm said it has purchased the accounting book of MD Yates and Associates (MD Yates), a Brisbane-based accounting practice established in 1996. The consideration for the transaction is $0.9 million.

Mark Yates, principal and owner at MD Yates, will transition over to 4Front for one-and-a-half years to ensure a seamless client transition.

Commenting on the announcement, Count chief executive Hugh Humphrey said the acquisition continues Count’s recent growth momentum within its advice network.

“We are always looking at ways to expand our community and that strategic focus includes supporting our member firms with their growth aspirations. We are delighted to welcome Mark and the team who bring experience, expertise and a like-minded culture to 4Front,” he remarked.

According to Yates, the purchase would lead to beneficial outcomes for the firm’s staff and clients as Count’s services expand across Queensland.

“4Front is a professional business that delivers exceptional service to their clients. We are excited about this next chapter and the benefits being in the Count network will bring to our clients in South-East and Western Queensland,” he said.

Count has announced several acquisitions from its equity partner firms since the year began, with its growth strategy showing no signs of slowing down.

This included Count Gold Coast, an equity firm of the broader Count network, purchasing the accounting fees of Jonathan Grant Accountants in early April for $1.4 million.

In the same week, a former Insignia advice firm Murray Nankivell, specialising in providing advice in regional South Australia, joined the Count licensee.

A Melbourne-based advisory firm Tailored Lifetime Solutions, formerly licensed through AMP, also joined the Count network in March.

The advice firm has also been active following its merger with Diverger earlier this year which created Australia’s third-largest advice licensee. 

Count recently upgraded the expected synergy benefits to be achieved from the acquisition. It now expects to see annualised cost savings of $4 million to be announced in FY25, a 33 per cent increase on the previously forecast sum of $3 million, announced at the time of the transaction.

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