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AAB merges with Sagars in a deal fuelled by new investor

Chris Jones, managing partner at Sagars and Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB celebrate merger

Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has merged with a Leeds-based independent accountancy firm to expand its UK regional presence.

The Aberdeen firm, which recently welcomed investment from private equity firm August Equity, will expand its reach in the North of England with the tie up with Sagars.

Together two firms are on track to deliver a more than £40million in revenue in the current financial year with a strategy in place to deliver £70m group revenue by 2026.

The group is made up of more than 450 team members, creating one of the UK’s “strongest, most expansive portfolios of business services”, including audit, accounting, tax, payroll, HR, consulting, wealth and corporate finance, the company said.

The deal augments AAB Group’s position as a “key player” in the accountancy and business services market in the UK, adding Leeds to its offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London,

Private equity fuelling growth

The merger was “fuelled” by investment from August.

Sagars will maintain its own brand following the merger but becomes part of the AAB Group.

A spokeswoman said there are “currently no other immediate changes planned for either brand”.

Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB, said the two firms have enjoyed a working relationship for several years and shared common values.

He said: “We have worked closely with Chris and the Sagars team over the last 10 years, and they are aligned with our way of thinking.

“Like us, they are driven by a passion for helping people, clients and team members alike, achieve their goals.

“We are hugely excited about the opportunity Sagars presents in Leeds and this merger enables us to support an even wider range of SME and enterprise clients across the UK.”


Chris Jones, managing partner at Sagars, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with AAB in the next phase of our growth journey.

“Through the merger we can achieve our goal of increasing the depth and breadth of the services we offer, whilst retaining an ability to shape our own future.”

Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB (left) and David Lonsdale, partner at August Equity .

He added: “We were attracted by AAB because we both have a clear focus on delivering awesome client service, investing in and developing our people and expanding our portfolio of tech-enabled services for the SME and enterprise markets.

“We have no doubt that our complimentary skills and service lines will mean that together, we will be able to do more for our clients, whilst providing great opportunities for all our team in a fast-growing business services group that is highly differentiated in the market.”

Last month AAB announced it sold a majority stake in its business to London-based August in a bid to fast-track its plans to become a UK regional market leader.

AAB said August’s investment would enable the accountancy firm to grow UK wide as well as continue its investment in technology.

Investment partner alongside

When the deal was announced, Mr Allan said August was backing the AAB partners’ own plans.

He said: “We didn’t want to take somebody else’s plan on and deliver it – we wanted to build our own plan and we wanted a partner to back that plan and that is what August have done.

“To do the type of transformation we were looking for you need an investment partner alongside you to achieve that.”

The deal builds on recent investments AAB made in Scotland earlier this year including the acquisitions of Purpose HR in Edinburgh and Glasgow-based accountants Hardie Caldwell as part of its plans to become a £50 million revenue group by 2025.

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