PwC and Handson & Partners are announcing that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby PwC has acquired 100% of the shares of Handson & Partners, bringing with it deep expertise of tax compliance and accounting services.
PwC is investing heavily in the Belgian national market. “We believe that a significant part of the growth in Belgium will come from the dynamism of family owned businesses and start-ups, and we’re committed to helping these businesses succeed in their ambitions,” says Philippe Vyncke, National Market Leader, PwC Belgium. PwC has for too long been seen by some companies as a service provider solely for big multinationals. The international network of PwC indeed offers such companies the services that they need, but that same network allows also family owned businesses and start-ups to benefit from that expertise. PwC Belgium has already taken initiatives to be closer to its clients by opening an office in Hasselt last year, and will open a new office in Charleroi in the weeks to come. PwC Belgium also actively supports start-up and scale-up initiatives, for instance through our sponsorship and active support of Netwerk Ondernemen/Réseau Entreprendre.
“What we were missing is a price effective ‘hands on’ offering to our local clients. With Handson & Partners we now have a very competitive service offering for that segment.”
“Handson & Partners offers a broad spectrum of services in two key areas: a wide range of staffing services with people with an accounting and financial background; and a local accounting practice – often called a ‘fiduciary practice’. Both businesses are fully complementary to our current service offerings, with very little overlap indeed,” said Axel Smits, Chairman, PwC Belgium. “Many of our clients are increasingly confronted with a workload that is too high for the people they have on board. This can for instance be related to special projects, temporary absence of colleagues or simply by a stop on additional recruitment. They need a very flexible, competent and price effective partner who can provide them with support if and when they need it. Furthermore, the fiduciary practice will create opportunities to serve local clients who until now often did not feel comfortable working with PwC, but who need advice on often complex and international matters.”
“We’re delighted to be joining forces with PwC, above all because we share the same values. At Handson & Partners we’ve always believed that success is built on being very close to our clients and our staff,” comments Peter Van Rooy, Managing Partner at Handson & Partners. “We build trust by delivering professional services tailored to the specific needs of our clients, ranging from practical advice to a broad spectrum of accounting and control services. The strength of our approach is our flexibility: long-lasting cooperation or short-term support, a small or large team – in all cases, a focus on improving our clients’ performance and supporting their growth. Being part of the PwC network will create a range of opportunities and access to knowledge and services for our clients and employees that we would not have had, had we remained an independent organisation.”
“Bringing Handson & Partners into the PwC network is completely aligned with our growth strategy,” comments Philippe Vyncke, National Market Leader at PwC Belgium. “They have a strong brand, a wide geographic spread and are highly complementary to our existing business. PwC is focused on providing our clients with the complete range of services, from strategy through to execution, and joining forces with Handson & Partners fits perfectly in that context. Our growth in the national market in Belgium will be reinforced by Handson & Partners’ fiduciary activities. They have an excellent reputation for helping entrepreneurs and SMEs build their businesses, and it’s those businesses that are the engine of Belgium’s economy and its future growth. In addition, Handson & Partners are widely respected for the way in which they stimulate the development of their people. We’re really looking forward to leading our combined teams to help our clients with all aspects of financial management.”
Handson &Partners booked revenues of EUR 9 million in 2015, and currently employs roughly 80 people. PwC has acquired 100% of the shares of Handson & Partners, which will become a member firm of the PwC network. The Handson & Partners will not be fully integrated into the PwC organisation, but will continue to be run as a stand-alone business within the PwC network. The offices will continue to be used. Financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.