Hentons to merge with London-based entertainment specialist CC Panayi & Co

Emeli Sande
Emeli Sande
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A Leeds-based accountancy firm is moving into the entertainment industry after announcing a merger with London practice C. C. Panayi & Co.

Hentons has formally combined with the firm, founded by Chris Panayi, whose passion for music helped develop an entertainment industry specialism that now works with Emeli Sandé and many leading artists both domestically and internationally.

Leeds entrepreneur Nadeem Ahmed

Leeds entrepreneur Nadeem Ahmed

The move follows a year of growth for Hentons that saw it expand both the client base and geographical footprint across North Yorkshire with the addition of two new offices in York and Thirsk.

The enlarged firm, to be known as Hentons Panayi, now has a team of more than 100 people across five offices and has one of the largest specialist teams in the entertainment sector in the region.

Nadeem Ahmed, managing partner of Hentons, said: “We have taken another step to accelerate our expansion plans and merged with the highly respected London based firm of C. C. Panayi & Co LLP.

“Recognised as one of the top accountancy firms in the music world, as featured in the Centtrip Music Legal & Accountancy 50 almanac, the London based team is highly regarded in the entertainment sector, and the experienced management team operates internationally.

The whole team at Hentons Panayi are more than just accountants. They fully understand the importance that business management plays in the music industry.

Emeli Sandé

“The move strengthens both teams by expanding geographical reach and providing a deeper mix of skill sets and experience. Hentons now strengthens its position as a UK top 100 accountancy firm with expertise covering a diverse range of sectors.”

Ms Sandé, who has four Brit Awards and has sold millions of records, said: “The whole team at Hentons Panayi are more than just accountants. They fully understand the importance that business management plays in the music industry.”

Guy Chambers, English songwriter, musician and record producer, who has worked with many international artists including Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner, said: “The team at Hentons Panayi understand the unique demands of the entertainment business and really go the extra mile to support artists.

“I look forward to working with the larger team.”

C. C. Panayi was founded in 1980 and now has a roster of clients from around the world. Based in Camden Town it works with a musical client base ranging from artistes and record producers to recording studios and labels.

Mr Panayi said: “We have been looking to partner with another firm which would enable us to enhance and add to the services that we have so far provided.

“Hentons is a firm that shares our ethos, professionalism and client care qualities and together, we can provide the first-class digital tools and a breadth of expertise that will add significant value to our clients.

“I and my partners, Effie Charalambous, Emma Panayi, George Antoniou and Iulia Rojcova, are greatly excited by the amalgamation, and the opportunities that being part of Hentons will develop in the future.”

Hentons Panayi also holds expertise in an extensive list of other music and entertainment related businesses including theatres, writers and photographers.

The London based team supports a broad spectrum of professionals, service providers and trades of all descriptions. Its client base and experience are international with clients in Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, and throughout Europe

In addition to the merger, Hentons has invested in new technology and grown its tax operation to help support a growing client base and the changes under the government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) plans.

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has provided Hentons with a funding line to support the merger. It follows the bank providing a multi-million-pound facility to assist Hentons’ previous round of acquisitions earlier this year.

Lee Rycraft, relationship director at Lloyds, said: “Hentons has enjoyed rapid growth over the last year, with its latest merger offering the firm an excellent footing in the London market and a new sector.”