The Engagement is Over. Calif., Firms Back Away From Merger

In October, 2011, San Francisco-based Burr Pilger Mayer (net revenues of $66 million) and Windes & McClaughry (net revenues of $24 million) of Long Beach, Calif., announced their plans to merge.

The merger of BPM and W&M would have created the second largest firm on the West Coast, behind Seattle-based Moss Adams (net revenues of $316 million), with combined revenues of $100 million.

In early Feb., the firm’s backed away from the merger, stating “We believed that combining both firms was the proper strategic direction, but, unfortunately, we could not come to agreement on all of the key issues,” says Windes MP, John Di Carlo.

“We are disappointed that we are not able to combine these two firms. Both organizations worked diligently toward the merger. We just came a little short of the goal line,” says Steve Mayer BPM MP.

BPM was determined it could replicate its model of success – building a presence in the Bay Area – and transfer that prototype to Southern California. But to do so, they needed to merge with a well-established firm, not sure who the next target will be for BPM. Mayer told IPA that after extensive market research BPM realized that there were no dominant firms inSouthern California.

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger commented, “In the end it simply made more strategic sense for both firms to remain independent. I think both firms will continue to grow both organically and through smaller mergers as well as keep the close relationship they have already built.”

What’s next for BPM? Mayer confirmed the speculation of the longer-term expansion strategy. “It’s a natural for us [BPM] to go outside of California. Colorado, Arizona,Texas are all possible,” Mayer says.