PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced today that it had merged with Witbank/Middelburg chartered accountancy firm Sentinel with effect from 1 January 2013. The merger means an enhanced range and depth of services for clients of the combined firms. In addition to the various industries where the firm offers specific expertise and experience, the merger brings together complimentary practice areas. The tie up between the two firms will also create the largest professional services firm in the North East Region of Mpumalanga and Witbank/Middelburg.
“The merger is in accordance with PwC’s strategic growth plans and the aspirations of Sentinel,” says Pierrie Cronje, PwC Partner in charge for the North East Region. “We have known the people at Sentinel for some time now and have great respect for them professionally as well as their commitment to clients and work,” says Cronje. “The merger is a cultural fit for our business and also compliments our areas of expertise.” Sentinel has some strong key practice areas, particularly in the audit and accounting field, and the clients of both firms stand to benefit from more resources as well as expanded knowledge and capabilities.
The merger enables PwC to establish a presence in a high growth market area and to be closer to existing clients in that area. “There will be enhanced value in the quality of services rendered to clients,” says Cronje.
In addition, the merger will give both partners and professional staff the ability to tap into the vast base of talent and knowledge that is available within PwC Southern Africa, Africa and internationally. Clients will have the assurance that a solution can be found to any problem. “Our Africa Network enables us to provide our clients with a seamless and consistent service wherever they are located on the continent.” Professional staff will also have the opportunity to work for one of the ‘Big Four’ professional services firms with excellent career growth and training opportunities provided.
The deal also positions the merged entity to penetrate and grow its client base in the North East Region. It will also enable PwC to grow its risk advisory and consulting divisions. “We will be able to offer clients a far more viable option as a merged entity, as specialised accounting, auditing and tax services will be available locally in the region for our Witbank and Middelburg clients.” With the increased capacity, the firm also intends growing its existing audit and accounting services.
“The merger also extends our capabilities to serve our clients. The additional resources in terms of skills and expertise enable us to provide a more comprehensive service to our clients and to compete more effectively in the market place.”
The amalgamated office will be led by Pierrie Cronje assisted by PwC Witbank Partner Karen Van Zyl. It will comprise an initial team of 61 staff members. The merged entity will be called PwC.