Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Deloitte-HST Merger Final for Consulting Services

The United Kingdom professional services firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd (Deloitte), has absorbed HST Consulting, one of its worldwide independent partners, in a merger agreement signed on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at the Sheraton Addis Hotel.

The merger process, which began in July 2012, will be completed with the union of the auditing services of the two companies, which is expected to take place in the next six months when the government grants its approval, according to Solomon Gizaw, partner of Deloitte Consulting.

The new company, Deloitte Ethiopia, has continued to operate in the HST offices on Africa-China Friendship St, off Africa Avenue, in Wello Sefer.

Deloitte officials, including the new Ethiopian partners, have declined to reveal the revenue sharing arrangement of the merger.

"The Deloitte brand will enhance the quality of services because it will utlise modern technology and expertise," said Solomon. "It will also help us get involved inEast Africa, as well as international services," he added.

The merger brings together Deloitte's East Africa practice with accountancy and advisory firm HST, which was the first partnership of professional accountancy services firms inEthiopia. HST, which was established through a merger of Haile Leul Tamiru & Co, Solomon Gizaw & Co and Tekeste Gebru & Co, in July 2003, brings with it a combined experience of over 20 years in the local market.

"The Deloitte commitment toAfricais evidenced by our long established presence on the continent," said Lwazi Bam, CEO of Deloitte Southern Africa. "We have a number of clients that have been with us for as long as we have existed. We believe that they have stayed with us because of the value that we continue to add."

Deloitte now has a presence in 34 African countries, including its offices in South Sudan and Libya, which it opened recently. Deloitte East Africa is a cluster of offices, located in; Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

"This means we have a pool of local experts that can solve any problem in any industry area, leveraging off global experts," said Sammy Onyango, CEO of Deloitte East Africa, when talking about the many regional offices.

The deal also cements Deloitte's position as a leading revenue earner among professional services firms on the continent. It made 664 million dollars out of Africa in 2012.

"We believe this is a result of our investment in the growth of our African practices throughout the long history of Deloitte in Africa, which stretches back a century," Onyango said.

The firm has been in South Africa for 106 years and in Kenya for 104 years.

Deloitte, which has been offering technical and economic consultancies in relation to Ethiopia's potash deposit in the Danakil Depression, could continue offering similar services in the mining sector, says Solomon.

Deloitte Global is headquartered in New York City, United States. It has 193,000 employees in more than 150 countries. It earned a record of 31.3 billion dollars in revenues in 2012. The company is also one of the "Big Four" professional services firms, which also includes; PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young and KPMG.

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