UK accountant’s film unit, run by John Graydon [pictured] and Nigel Burke, acquired by rival firm; all current film contracts to transfer to Saffery Champness.

UK accountancy firm Saffery Champness has bought out the film and TV unit of rival accountant RSM Tenon.

The deal includes all 17 staff, led by John Graydon and Nigel Burke, and existing contracts. The cost of the transaction has not been disclosed.

The team has relocated to Saffery’s London’s offices this week, joining partner Julian Hedley, who left RSM Tenon last year to head up the Saffery Champness Sports and Entertainment Group.

Among the team who moved are Moses Nyachae and Nigel Walde along with Stephen Bristow who joined the team last year.

Tenon’s highly respected film unit works with all US studios and UK majors and has advised the UK government in setting up the UK film tax credit and the forthcoming TV, games and animation tax relief.

Tenon has worked on US titles including The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Warhorse, Captain America, Inception and Skyfall and UK titles including Coriolanus, Welcome to the Punch, The King’s Speech and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

RSM Tenon reported a drop in revenue of 9% to £107.8m earlier this year. Overall profit fell to £683,000 from £7.5m, leading to the departure of chief executive Andy Raynor – who was replaced by Chris Merry – and chairman Bob Morton. It is understood that Tenon will continue to run a scaled back film unit.

Julian Hedley, partner, Saffery Champness said: “This is great news for Saffery Champness, we are fast becoming the market leading accountancy practice in sports and entertainment and see film, television and games as a core area for growth for the firm.

“The highly specialised expertise offered by John and Nigel’s team will be a huge asset to the practice and complements the entertainment group, particularly as the creative sector looks towards embracing the new tax reliefs for British television, animation and games from next year. Whilst this expansion will help us to further develop our offering, our collective clients can expect to continue to receive the same high level of service from us.”

John Graydon, partner, added: “We have been able to assist producers at every budget level in the UK and abroad achieve financial efficiency on their projects ensuring that as much of their investment as possible can be directed towards the production of their films, and ultimately what audiences get to see on the big screen. 

“We have been working over the past nine months on the introduction of the new creative sector tax reliefs for television, animation and games and are looking forward to working with producers to unlock that funding which will help them and the UK creative sector boost its position and value in the international marketplace.  We look forward to working within the Saffery Champness fold and ensuring that we continue to offer our clients our best advice and services.”

Nigel Burke, partner, added: “We are delighted that Saffery Champness has decided to follow the Government’s lead by pursuing expansion in the creative industries. With the introduction of tax incentives in TV, animation and gaming supplementing the existing film tax relief, the UK is going to be an exciting place in the coming years for entrepreneurial professional advisors in the media sector. Saffery’s existing prominent market position in advising film, sports and media talent combined with the film and TV team’s unrivalled offering to international producers will create the perfect accompaniment to creative industries growth in the UK.”