CogitalGroup which is backed by HgCapital announces an investment in Baldwins and the launch of the new Group - Hg

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• CogitalGroup will consist of Blick Rothenberg, the former BPO Division of Visma and Baldwins

• The Group will provide outsourcing, accounting, payroll, taxation, financial and other advisory services to a broad range of businesses including entrepreneurial businesses and high net worth individuals

• Pro-forma revenue of the Group will be circa £300 million

CogitalGroup, which is backed by HgCapital, a leading investor in the accounting services and technology space, today announces an investment in Baldwins, one of the UK’s largest firms of independent accountants. The terms of this transaction were not disclosed.

Baldwins is a fast growing firm of accountants focused on accounting, tax and related services to the vital entrepreneurial segment of the UK economy. The firm has 27 offices across the UK employing c. 650 people. The business has grown rapidly based on high quality client service and a series of acquisitions. Baldwins plans to continue its strategy of acquiring quality firms as it builds out its regional network of practices. Its existing management team will continue to lead and drive this strategy.

John Baldwin, Director of Baldwins said “We undertook significant diligence on who to work with in relation to our future investment partners and we are delighted to have the opportunity to join CogitalGroup and work with HgCapital. We are also pleased to welcome John Connolly onto our board who, with his undoubted background as former Global Chairman of Deloitte, will bring a level of expertise and experience necessary to achieve our goals and aspirations.”

The Baldwins investment follows on from the announcement that HgCapital has agreed the acquisition of Visma BPO, a leading provider of outsourced accounting, payroll and HR services to 20,000 businesses in the Nordic region. Visma BPO brings leading technology that both assists practice accountants in the delivery of their service and also enhances the client experience through easier and more effective client/adviser collaboration.

“We are very happy to be joining this new Group and retaining a relationship with HgCapital which has been a long term shareholder in Visma. I am confident that we will develop in the right direction and further strengthen our services and solutions in the future.”

Roar Wiik Andreassen, CEO Nordics and International

In July, HgCapital also announced an investment in Blick Rothenberg, a UK leading provider of accounting, audit and tax services based in London.

Blick Rothenberg, Visma BPO and Baldwins will form the newly launched CogitalGroup with each business continuing with their existing brands. The CogitalGroup, chaired by John Connolly, former Global Chairman of Deloitte and for 12 years CEO of the UK firm, has been established to create a new presence in the advisory services market. When the transactions complete over the next few weeks the group will have over 3,200 people based in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the UK and with a significant nearshore centre in Romania. The pro-forma group revenue will be circa £300 million.

“This is a major landmark for CogitalGroup and is part of our strategy to build a different kind of advisory business, underpinned by exceptional levels of innovation and client-focused service. We are extremely excited about our future and strongly believe that there is a place in the market for a firm focused on entrepreneurial businesses and high net worth individuals, delivering a personal service whilst harnessing the value-enhancing role of technology.

John Connolly

“Baldwins is a company I have known and admired for some time and I am delighted that we now have the opportunity to work with John and his team. Along with our colleagues at Blick Rothenberg and Visma BPO, they will help take CogitalGroup to the next level.”

The CogitalGroup has been backed by HgCapital who have a deep understanding of trends in this sector and a proven, sector-focused approach of investing in leading regulatory-driven businesses in and around the accounting and tax compliance space.

“This latest investment is in line with HgCapital’s sector-focused approach and reflects our considerable experience in this area. We are proud to be investing in CogitalGroup, and working together our goal is to build a substantial international business that provides superior service to entrepreneurial companies and business owners and managers.”

Thorsten Toepfer, a director of HgCapital