Sunday 28 July 2019 3:27 pm

Private equity firms eye up challenger accountancy firm Cogital

Several private equity groups are reportedly preparing bids on UK-based accounting firm Cogital, in a deal that could value the company at £1bn.

European firms BC Partners, Permira, and PAI are preparing final bids alongside US-based Hellman & Freidman, according to the Financial Times

Cogital was set up in 2016 by former Deloitte partner John Connolly in collaboration with private equity firm HG Capital. It was nominated for Accountancy Firm of the Year at last year’s City A.M. awards.

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Launched as an alternative to the ‘big four’ accountancy firms  – KMPG, EY, Deloitte and PwC – it is noted for its use of artificial intelligence and other smart technologies. 

It is unclear if the reported sale would be of a minority or majority stake in the firm, but it comes at a time when the dominance of the ‘big four’ is under threat. 

Regulators are pushing for legislation that would require the accountancy giants to break up their firms to avoid conflicts of interest and offer greater choice to companies seeking an auditor. 

Cogital, which employs over 6,500 people in eight countries, declined to comment on reports of a sale, as did PAI and Hellman & Freidman. Permira and BC Partners could not be reached for comment.