U.K. Entertainment Accounting Firm Snapped up by Rival

Saffery Champness, one of the U.K.'s top 20 accountancies, buys out the specialist film and TV unit of RSM Tenon, which worked on the latest James Bond film "Skyfall."

LONDON – Saffery Champness, one of the U.K.’s top 20 accountancy firms, has inked a deal to buy the specialist Film and Television Unit from RSM Tenon.

RMS Tenon's film and television unit is one of the U.K.'s highest profile teams and counts the Hollywood studios and a slew of independents on its client roster.

Saffery Champness, a sports, entertainment, music and theatre firm, aims to grow its footprint in the entertainment sector through the deal.

Financial details remain confidential but the deal includes all of the RSM Tenon Group’s existing film and television business.

The entire 17-strong team led by John Graydon and Nigel Burke will relocate to Saffery’s London’s offices 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 long-standing fellow beancounters Moses Nyachae and Nigel Walde along with Stephen Bristow who joined the team last year to lead on developing the business.

The newly acquired team brings a wealth of experience to the table with work carried out on a slew of movies and television projects including for the movies The Dark Knight, Skyfall, The King’s Speech, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Warhorse, Coriolanus, Captain America, X-Men and Inception.

Graydon and the team act for all the major U.S. studios, as well as U.S. and European independent production companies.

The incoming team also advised the U.K. government on the introduction of the U.K. film tax credit and the new creative sector tax relief announced by the government in the last budget.

Hedley said the expertise offered by the incoming team will help his firm develop in the movie, television and games sectors.

Graydon said: "We have been able to assist producers at every budget level in the U.K. 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."

The move comes just weeks after a report published by Oxford Economics highlighted the value of the U.K.’s film sector to the overall British economy, in contributing £3.7 billion ($6 million) to UK gross domestic product last year and £1 billion ($1.6 billion) to Exchequer revenues.