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Optionis builds on tax specialism with latest acquisition

The deal is the fifth takeover to be completed by the Cheshire-headquartered firm in the past two years, and follows December's acquisition of London-based tax specialist Brian Alfred Associates.

Established in 2002, Arnsco specialises in processing tax returns for Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) workers.  

Following the deal, the Arnsco brand will be maintained and will sit within Optionis’ SME division, ClearSky Business, led by newly appointed managing director of SME, Robert White.

White said: “We are committed to building our presence in the tax rebate solutions market, as part of our strategy to build on and extend the services offered to SMEs and their employees.

“Arnsco’s expertise in providing tax and accountancy services, when sitting alongside our recent Brian Alfred acquisition, means that we are well placed to deliver a market-leading tax return service to CIS construction workers and other PAYE-based employees.”

The acquisition takes Optionis’ head count to 350 across several UK sites.

As well as ClearSky Business, the group is home to Parasol and ClearSky Contractor Accounting. Between them, the latter two divisions provide support to tens of thousands of contractors and freelancers every year. Group turnover for 2014/15 was &pound314m.

In January 2014 Optionis completed a secondary buyout (SBO) backed by international investment firm MML Capital Partners.

The Arnsco and Brian Alfred deals follow the acquisition of accountancy practices Wheatley Pearce, Lofts & Co and Michael Brookes & Co.

Law firm DWF advised Optionis on its latest acquisition, while financial and tax due diligence was performed in-house. Arnsco was advised by Ward Hadaway and Ibis Consult. 

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