Grant Thornton brings in investor to drive US ambitions

19 March 2024 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

The American arm of Grant Thornton has agreed to sell a majority stake to New Mountain Capital, continuing a trend of large private equity deals that are reshaping the accounting and advisory sector.

With revenues of $2.4 billion and 9,000 staff, Grant Thornton is currently the seventh largest accounting-origin firm in the United States, after the Big Four, RSM and BDO.

Seth Siegel, CEO of Grant Thornton in the US, said the financial backing of New Mountain Capital, an investment firm with $50 billion in assets under management, will enable the firm to immediately enhance its value in the marketplace and help accelerate its growth strategy.

Grant Thornton brings in investor to drive US ambitions

“With New Mountain Capital on board, we’ll enjoy greater scale, resources and agility, while better positioning the firm to make targeted investments in talent, technology, infrastructure and enhanced capabilities. Grant Thornton will further solidify our position as the industry’s platform of choice,” said the CEO.

The cash from New Mountain, together with some debt financing, will also be used to return capital to current partners, buy out retirement obligations to former partners, and step up acquisitions, an area where it has historically been less active than many rivals.

The transaction is the second $1 billion-plus private equity deal in the accounting segment of professional services this year. In February, Baker Tilly (6,400 staff in the US) sold just over half of its business for approximately $1 billion. Earlier, two other top 25 players in the American market (Citrin Cooperman and Cherry Bekaert) also landed private equity sponsors.

“We are deeply impressed by Grant Thornton’s business. In our research, Grant Thornton ranked at the highest levels in the US as measured by the quality of its work product and the satisfaction of its clients, even at a much lower price to clients,” said Andre Moura, managing director at New Mountain Capital.

“We look forward to working with Grant Thornton to invest further in technology and automation, talent and new service line capabilities to achieve rapid growth – while maintaining an unwavering focus on quality and client experience.”

Globally, Grant Thornton has over 73,000 people in close to 150 countries.