SME Loans

Lancs accountancy firm acquires Cumbria practice

A fast-growing Lancashire accountancy firm has taken over a long-established practice in Cumbria in a six-figure acquisition backed by Mercia’s SME Loans fund.

The deal brings together Brown & Co, which is based in Thornton-Cleveleys, with Ingalls of Kendal, which was founded in the 1930s and serves businesses of all sizes throughout Cumbria including many agricultural firms. It will enable Brown & Co to almost treble its turnover and more than double the size of its team from eight to 18. The deal also allows for the retirement of Ingalls’ Managing Director, Ged Whiteside, who bought into the business in 2011.

Brown & Co was established in 2012 by Chris Brown, who had previously spent eight years working with ‘big four’ accountancy firm KPMG and is now managing director, and his wife Emma, who ran her own business before becoming operations director at Brown & Co.

The firm offers a full range of accountancy services including business growth coaching and access to wealth management and aims to help its clients to drive efficiency through the use of new technology. It has expanded rapidly in recent years, growing revenue by 30% ini the 12 months to the end of March 2023.

Chris, who is also the current President of the ICAEW, the accountancy trade body, in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said:  “At Brown & Co we aim to go beyond the basics of accounting and offer a personal and pro-active service to help our clients grow their business and realise their full potential.

“Having built a strong track record in Lancashire, we are excited to be expanding into Cumbria. We have a strong personal connection to the area. We believe we can add value to local businesses and look forward to supporting new and existing clients across the county.”

Mike Rogers from Mercia’s SME Loans team said: “This transaction brings together two complementary accountancy firms. It will safeguard the future of Ingalls’ business and bring new digital skills and products to enhance its operations. It will also enable Brown & Co to expand geographically and pursue its ambition to become the leading digital accountant across Lancashire and Cumbria.”

Mark Robinson from Swoop Funding provided fundraising advice to Brown & Co,  while Napthens provided legal advice to the firm on the acquisition.  Weightmans provided legal advice to Mercia.