KPMG Cairns firm joins Grant Thornton Australia

Grant Thornton Australia has merged with the independently owned KMPG practice in Cairns in what is understood to be a multi-million-dollar deal.

KMPG'sfive partners will become partners of Grant Thornton Australia.

The deal includes 70 staff.

The merger is the first by the international company outside of a capital city.

Thereare eight other offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Queensland managing partner Tony Markwell said that the merger supported Grant Thornton'sstrategic growth agenda and expanded its capability to serve clients wherever they do business.

``GrantThornton has long recognised the importance of Queensland's regional centres and the substantial volume of business conducted outside of Brisbane, particularly in Far North Queensland,'' he said.

Chief executive Robert Quant said the Cairns group had ``the skills and professional approach to add significant breadth and depth to Grant Thornton's service offering in northern Australia and it cements us as the leading adviser to the dynamic middle market across the country''.

KPMG's head of private enterprise Peter Siebels said Queensland remained a key marketfor the national firm.