Alantra advises AAB on its largest acquisition

SECTORBusiness Services


Apr 2023
Buy-side advisory

London – Alantra, the global investment banking firm, has advised AAB, the tech-enabled business critical services group, on its largest acquisition to date.

Alantra has worked with AAB since 2021, when it advised on the investment from August Equity. This put AAB on a strategic growth journey with this latest acquisition marking the eighth business to join the group in the past 18 months.

French Duncan has long been recognised as one of the leading providers of professional services in Central Scotland and employs more than 200 people across offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. The firm provides a wide range of accountancy and business advisory solutions to support privately owned businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to reach their business and personal goals.

The combined AAB and French Duncan teams are 350+ strong across Central Scotland and this acquisition further strengthens the team to deliver client-focused services to businesses and individuals across a key growth region for the AAB Group. The addition of French Duncan will build on the existing AAB Group specialist teams in audit, tax, business advisory, corporate finance & payroll/HR (including health & safety) and doubles the size of the AAB restructuring & recovery team across the UK & Ireland. It also introduces 50+ leisure & hospitality finance specialists to the group who provide bespoke hotel accounting services to clients across the UK.

From Thursday 27th April, French Duncan will begin trading as AAB, with FD Hotel Accounting trading as AAB Hotel Accounting and FD People trading as AAB People. French Duncan Wealth Management and FD Intelligence do not form part of the transaction.

AAB was advised by Richard Holden, Alantra’s UK Head of Business Services, Julian Ayisi and Harry Caro.

Richard Holden, Partner and UK Head of Business Services, commented, “It has been a pleasure to support AAB on this strategically important acquisition. AAB is one of the fastest growing new model accounting firms in the UK. We have worked closely with Chief Executive Graeme Allan and his team since advising on the investment from August Equity in 2021. Acquiring French Duncan marks a key milestone in growing AAB.”

Graeme Allan, Chief Executive at AAB Group commented, “This is our largest strategic acquisition to date and significantly strengthens our market position in Scotland. We are truly delighted to welcome the French Duncan team to AAB. We share a passion for supporting clients to achieve their goals by offering an unparalleled range of services to the businesses and individuals who choose to work with us and I know our teams will be able to provide an even better service to our clients as a result of this deal.”

Graeme Finnie, Managing Partner of French Duncan added, “This deal is a superb next step for the French Duncan team. We have admired the journey AAB has been on and by joining the group ourselves we will create unmatched opportunities for our teams and our clients through enhanced technology, investment and expertise.”

Graeme Finnie will take on the role of Managing Partner – Glasgow for AAB following the deal. 

AAB Group now employs more than 1,000 people across the UK, Ireland and internationally. The rapid growth journey is expected to continue across the UK and Ireland in 2023.

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