Schmitt Griffiths Smith and Co., an Ogden accounting firm, has agreed to be acquired by a North Dakota firm said to be one of the largest CPA businesses in the U.S.
Eide Bailly, an accounting and business advisory firm based in Fargo, N.D., will buy the assets and client list of SGS for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close Nov. 1, SGS President Stuart Tholen said Friday.
Tholen said Eide Bailly is the 22nd-largest CPA firm in the U.S. Its fiscal 2011 revenue totaled $158 million. By contrast, SGS revenue last year was $6 million.
SGS and Eide Bailly are calling the deal a merger. Although the SGS name will disappear, the firm's Utah operations won't be reduced. Tholen said SGS's 45-person staff of accountants will continue to serve clients in Weber and Davis counties. Over the next five years, Eide Bailly expects to hire 50 more accountants and establish an office in Salt Lake City, he said.
"We've been in discussions for years with them," Tholen said. "This is probably the next evolution for our company. We've been in business for 38 years, and so our leadership felt like this would be the best way to get the desired growth."
Jerry Topp, Eide Bailly's managing partner, said the acquisition will fill a hole in its regional footprint, which covers nine midwestern and southwestern states.
"Bringing SGS into the Eide Bailly family will connect our Phoenix, Denver, Boise and Billings practice areas," Topp said in a statement.
Tholen will serve as partner-in-charge of the Utah office. His SGS partners Dan Milne, Nikki Thom, Ken Jeppesen, Eric Johnson, and Brett Dagley also will join Eide Bailly.