Accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause is acquiring two companies, including St. Paul-based Springsted Inc., to build one of the largest municipal finance advisory firms in the United States.
Baker Tilly is a Chicago-based network of accounting firms with 45 offices in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia and more than 3,000 employees. Its Minneapolis office employs 240 people.
The firm plans to combine its existing public-service practice with those of Springsted and H.J. Umbaugh and Associates, an Indianapolis firm that Baker Tilly also is acquiring. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Baker Tilly’s existing public-sector practice group employs 220 associates, primarily in the Midwest, and has about 1,000 government clients nationwide.
“The combination will provide an extension of services and talents,” said Vicki Hellenbrand, Baker Tilly partner and public-sector practice leader.
“All three firms are in fine financial shape,” said Kathleen Aho, president of Springsted. “This is really about laying the pathway for future growth.”
Founded in St. Paul in the 1950s, Springsted is one of the first advisory firms in the nation to concentrate on municipal services, Aho said. It has offices in eight states, including Wisconsin, Iowa and Texas, and 75 employees. She said the St. Paul office, with 60 employees, will be maintained after the acquisition.
Springsted has helped with the public financing of a number of notable local deals, including Target Center in Minneapolis and the Xcel Energy Center and CHS Field in St. Paul, in addition to other public infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, schools and libraries, Aho said.
“This strategic combination brings together what we believe to be a unique set of resources within a premier municipal advisory practice,” Hellenbrand said in a statement.
The deals are expected to close in the first quarter. Springsted and Umbaugh — which has four offices in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio and 120 employees — will both adopt the Baker Tilly brand name after a transition period of about nine to 12 months. All client-facing professionals are expected to be part of the combined practice, Baker Tilly officials said.
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