Fresh off the rumor mill via the tip box:
Forvis, in its laughable quest for global domination (WE DONT WANT TO BE THE BIG 4), is going to announce another merger/acquisition this week, presumably to leapfrog GT and BDO in the Americas or establish significant footing overseas.
FORV/S (ugh why’d I type that) currently sits at #8 on the IPA Top 100 with $1.7 billion in revenue. BDO and GT are at #6 and #7 with $2.8 billion and $2.3 billion in revenue, respectively. Going by the IPA numbers that means a $1.1 billion difference between FORVIS and BDO, merging with any of the top 9-15 firms would get them there by next year. Those firms are:
|10||Baker Tilly||$1.6 billion|
|12||CBIZ + MHM||$1.2 billion|
|14||Moss Adams||$1.1 billion|
|15||Plante Moran||$1 billion|
Well we can immediately disqualify CLA — our tipster did — for a few reasons (and not our tipster’s reason of FORVIS having no respect for them): After identifying a few cases of CLA declining reappointment as auditor for some clients, we confirmed CLA is 100% pulling out of the public company audit game along with a few other mid-tiers. FORVIS picked a few of these clients up (that we know of, probably more) so it makes no sense that they’d end up back where they were. CLA CEO Jen Leary also said this in a recent Bloomberg Tax interview:
With no new acquisitions on the horizon, Leary said she is focused on improving the value of the enterprise for the next generation of CLA owners. Partnering with private equity, as other firms have done, isn’t in the cards. “We don’t need outside capital,” she said.
Our tipster seems to think the merger will be an international one. This June 2023 Charlotte Business Journal profile on post-merger DHG and BKD plans seems to back that up:
The first name that comes to mind when one thinks about international firms is Mazars but that “would be shocking,” said our tipster. Mazars USA (IPA 100 #31, $258 million in revenue) and Le Mazars are both fellow members of the Praxity alliance Forvis is in, as are Moss Adams and Plante Moran. The bulk of Praxity firms are overseas (to us) excepting Toronto’s MNP which requires no sea travel to get to from Springfield, Missouri.
If you remember, we’ve been through this before with FORVIS (before there was a FORVIS). In February 2022 a tipster told us two big Praxity firms were about to announce a merger. At that time, we had these to choose from:
- Dixon Hughes Goodman
- Kaufman Rossin
- Mazars USA
- Moss Adams
- Plante Moran
We of course know now that it was BKD and DHG that combined forces to become the horribly named FORVIS. BKD and DHG were in the 14th and 17th spots (respectively) on the IPA 100 in 2021, the FORVIS merger bumped them up together to #8 in 2022.
Our tipster suggests that if it is a US firm, that firm will be Moss Adams though it seems unlikely. We’re told there should be an internal announcement this week, hopefully we haven’t totally ruined it with this post.
Speculate away and let’s get the jump on offering GOOD possible post-merger name ideas to prevent another FORVIS ok?