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Gosling Chapman Announces Merger

1 February 2006

Gosling Chapman Announces Merger With Burns Mccurrach

Gosling Chapman, one of New Zealand's leading mid-tier accounting firms, today announced it is joining forces with Burns McCurrach, a prominent mid-tier Auckland CBD accounting firm with three partners, 30 staff and annual revenue of approximately NZ$5.3 million.

The merger will make Gosling Chapman, part of WHK Group, one of the largest mid-tier firms in New Zealand with a combined income of approximately $15.8 million. The transaction is expected to be effective from 1 April 2006.

Commenting on the merger, Rowan Chapman, managing principal at Gosling Chapman commented:
"We are excited about the opportunities this merger brings for our clients and our staff, and we are extremely keen to develop the potential of this new partnership. Burns McCurrach is a good cultural fit with Gosling Chapman and has several business streams that will compliment our firm and further enhance client value. Gosling Chapman is used to offering clients extraordinary value and Burns McCurrach's existing client relationships reflect this principal."

The acquisition makes Gosling Chapman one of the largest mid-market firms, extending Gosling Chapman's reach into the SME and high net worth market, with a clear focus on the provision of quality business advice and financial services to the New Zealand marketplace.

The merged firm will have ten principals and more than 100 staff, with annual revenue in the first full year of operation of approximately $15.8 million. Under merger plans, the Burns McCurrach business will be relocated and integrated into the nearby offices of Gosling Chapman. The close proximity of the two firms means that the merger will have little impact on staff and clients of Burns McCurrach.

The transaction is consistent with the growth strategy of WHK Group, Gosling Chapman's parent company. The Australian listed business and financial services group supports the development and expansion of core member firms to further expand their practice and provide enhanced business services to clients.

More generally, the merger of Burns McCurrach with Gosling Chapman is a first important step towards replicating the size and scale of WHK Group member firms in Sydney and Melbourne, which both now trade under the WHK Greenwoods brand.

"This is the first acquisition for Gosling Chapman since the firm's merger with WHK Group and signals our intention to further expand our presence in New Zealand. Our intention is to form a major national business services network and the firm will continue to look for complimentary businesses to help us achieve this. The leading driver behind this expansion is our desire to increase the value we can offer our clients.

We would like to welcome Burns McCurrach to Gosling Chapman and look forward to working closely with its staff members to support their existing relationships and together with Gosling Chapman, expand the practice," concluded Rowan Chapman.

ENDS

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