Anderson Anderson & Brown hails record year as firm works on 70 deals

Anderson Anderson & Brown, the accountancy and business advisory firm, has capped 2019 having completed a record 70 transactions with a combined deal value in excess of £500 million.
Douglas Martin, head of corporate finance at AAB, announces records number of deals. Picture: ContributedDouglas Martin, head of corporate finance at AAB, announces records number of deals. Picture: Contributed
Douglas Martin, head of corporate finance at AAB, announces records number of deals. Picture: Contributed

The firm, which has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London, said the deal activity it was involved in during the year spanned a range of sectors including energy, food and drink, construction, technology, healthcare, education and business services.

Some of AAB’s key deals included the management buy-out of Arjowiggins Creative Papers, DC Thomson Media’s acquisition of PSP Media, the merger of Inspire Catering with CH&Co’s Scottish operations, Waldorf’s acquisition of Endeavour Energy’s UK assets, the disposal of Apollo Offshore to Global Energy Group and the sale of Motion Software to Jonas Software.

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The firm, which has some 280 staff including 19 partners, said it had “significantly” increased its focus on deal activity in the Central Belt following its Edinburgh office launch in June 2018. It noted that its Central Belt deals team, led by Lyn Calder, was “rapidly growing” following the completion of 20 deals across the region during 2019.

A number of key appointments to the deals team were sealed during the year, with the most recent addition being Adam Cassidy, who has joined AAB from Ryecroft Glenton in Newcastle.


Douglas Martin, the firm’s head of corporate finance, said: “This is an exciting time for us as we continue to build our presence across Scotland and we are delighted to have hit a new milestone with the completion of 70 deals in a year for the first time.

“This achievement is a clear testament to the team’s continued drive, ability and entrepreneurial spirit to initiate and deliver transactions across Scotland and further afield.”

The firm recorded a turnover of about £22m in 2018 and is confident of ­growing its revenues to £40m by 2022. Its Edinburgh office has a growth target of 100 staff within three years.

The AAB group comprises a number of businesses including Anderson Anderson & Brown Wealth, Anderson Anderson & Brown Consulting and John F Daly Associates – a joint venture audit company.

In November, former Tesco Bank boss Benny Higgins was appointed as chairman of Anderson Anderson & Brown Wealth.

Higgins is one of the best known figures in Scotland’s financial services industry. He was chief executive of Tesco Bank for ten years, and prior to that was head of RBS and NatWest’s retail banking business, which included their wealth management offering.

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His current portfolio sees him holding roles including executive chairman of property firm Buccleuch and strategic adviser to the First Minister on the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank.

AAB Wealth has assets under advice approaching £350m.