Corporate finance boutique Dow Schofield Watts has formed a partnership with Warrington-based business strategy consultants Diligencia.

The new partnership will offer financial, management, operational and commercial due diligence services.

It will be headquartered at Dow Schofield Watts’ offices at Daresbury Park near Runcorn and bring together over 20 team members – a number which is expected to increase.

James Dow said: “Our aim is simple – to create the broadest and deepest due diligence service to support the corporate finance market.

“We believe Diligencia should be on the pitch list for every deal across the UK.”

The partnership has created a team which has worked with clients including leading private equity houses and major high street banks in the UK.

Mr Dow added: “The market has bottomed and we are ready to ride the next wave of deal making.

“We are poised to take advantage of a weak and fragmented market and are ready to grow aggressively.”

The overall value of UK buyouts fell by three quarters (72%) in 2009 to £5.5bn compared to 2008 (£19.7bn) representing a return to 1995 levels, according to the latest data published by the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR).

Mr Dow added: “No other business, including the big four, is offering this depth and breadth of expertise to clients.

“Our consultants are not just academics – we have all run businesses and been at the sharp end. We bring real commercial experience.

“The advantages are clear – our integrated service will make the whole due diligence process easier and more effective with potential savings in both time and cost.

“The new company will be greater than the sum of its parts. We aim to offer an attractive alternative to the established big players.”

Bruce Scott, who acquired Diligencia from the Jefferson Smurfit Group in 1995, said: “There was an obvious synergy between our teams in terms of offer and culture.

“Yes, we move in similar markets but there is very little overlap so it’s a perfect fit.

“We’re all about strategic management support and management due diligence – people and strategy and the ability of one to deliver the other – while Dow Schofield Watts bring their strong corporate financial expertise together with their other complementary due diligence services.

“We are offering a complete solution that no other company can currently match. Our combined experience, expertise and contacts make us truly a force to be reckoned with.”

The new partnership will work with banks and private equity houses at pre-investment stage and directly with plc and corporate clients at both pre and post-investment phases.