Tricor acquires Malaysia operations of business advisory Axcelasia

24 February 2020 4 min. read

Professional services firm Tricor has picked up the Malaysian operations of Axcelasia, a tax and business consultancy with a team of 100-plus.

Describing itself as a business expansion specialist, the Asian-origin professional services firm Tricor Group has continued with its own rapid expansion through yet another acquisition. In a deal reported to be worth around US$16.6 million, the Malaysian operations of business and tax consultancy Axcelasia will be incorporated into Tricor Malaysia, with the group to also launch a new governance, risk & compliance (GRC) solutions offering across the region.

“Axcelasia’s dynamic, client-centric approach will be particularly valuable to Tricor as we continue to deepen our footprint and expand our portfolio of corporate services and business solutions to clients expanding across Asia Pacific,” said Tricor Group CEO Lennard Yong, who added that the deal would strategically equip the firm with GRC capabilities to meet demand in the Asia Pacific, as well as strengthen its corporate, business and tax services in Malaysia.

Initially established as part of the Taxand network in 2006 and listed on the SGX a decade or so later, Axcelasia’s team today consists of more than 100 professionals led by CEO Ranjit Singh – who previously spent 18 years as a partner at KPMG in Malaysia. Taxand Malaysia founder and Axcelasia non-executive chairman Veerinderjeet Singh was meanwhile a partner at Ernst & Young, while Axcelasia deputy executive chairman Peter Tang came out of PwC.

Tricor acquires Malaysia operations of business advisory Axcelasia

“We have dedicated ourselves to providing clients in Malaysia with integrated services of the highest standard,” said Singh. “The integration of the operations of Axcelasia with Tricor allows the enlarged group to bring these services – especially GRC solutions – to a larger client base and also offers our clients in Malaysia access to Tricor’s vast suite of services. The natural synergies of our services and staff will help make this integration seamless.”

According to the terms of the agreement, Axcelasia’s remaining subsidiaries in Singapore, Vietnam and Laos will have to cease trading under the name within three months of completion, while it hasn’t been made clear what roles, if any, the firm’s management team will take on moving forward. In addition to the board members above, several of the firm’s other leaders also boast a Big Four background, including CFO Sivaruban Kandasamy at EY and KPMG.

For Tricor’s part, the purchase of Axcelasia is the latest in a recent string of acquisitions, following on from the addition of Chinese corporate services firm Alphalink in the middle of last year. Earlier in 2019, Tricor picked up another China-based provider Richful Deyong, with a headcount of 200 the largest acquisition in the firm’s history. Together with organic growth, the activity has seen Tricor’s footprint swell to almost 50 offices with a headcount of 2,600-plus.

Tricor’s recent expansion has been supported through its own acquisition by Permira for US$835 million in 2017, shortly before the private equity firm bought Duff & Phelps, another global professional services firm, for $1.75 billion – last month announcing its sale to a consortium for $4.2 billion. Like Trior, Duff & Phelps has also grown under Permira’s ownership, adding Kroll, which last month acquired Singapore firm RP Digital Security in turn.