The proposed takeover of Moore Stephens and rebranding into BDO, expected to be completed next spring, would create a firm with gross annual revenue of £590m and a 5,000-strong team in the UK.
Simon Gallagher, managing partner at Moore Stephens, said: “To be entering final discussions to create the largest UK accountancy firm focused on entrepreneurially-spirited and fast-growing businesses is exciting – and critical for market competition.
“The proposed merger provides a platform for continued, sustainable growth, as well as offering something different to the market at this important time.”
The new firm will be able to operate across the energy, technology, retail, real estate and financial services as well as shipping, insurance and donor assurance, among others.
Following the takeover of the Moore Stephens UK network and its offices in London, Birmingham, Reading, Bristol and Watford, BDO plans to open a second office in the City of London.
Paul Eagland, BDO managing partner, said: “In the last 12 months – in the wake of Carillion and the subsequent focus on competition in the audit market – the UK market now has a better appreciation of BDO’s capability and quality.
“This deal increases our credibility further and proves our commitment to competing in the top-end of the market."