The Eide Bailly and Wipfli Merger Is Off

There will only be EB Wipfli in your dreams. We were just forwarded an email that Eide Bailly CEO Jerry Topp sent to the firm announcing that the deal is no longer happening.

From: Jerry Topp 
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:34 PM
To: ~!All Users
Subject: Important Merger Update
Importance: High
 
I have some significant news to share with you today. The management teams of both Eide Bailly and Wipfli have decided to discontinue merger discussions because we could not come to agreement on key terms. The decision not to proceed with the merger was mutual and amicable.  Both firms will continue forward as independent CPA firms.
 
The partners were briefed earlier.  We will shortly begin the process of notifying clients.  Later this afternoon, we will issue a joint press release with Wipfli.  We’re keeping this story brief and to the point.  Please help us stay on message.  Remember that anything you send by e-mail can wind up in the press.  So, if it’s important that you share this information with colleagues or clients, send them the attached press release.
 
When we started this process I stated, “We do not have to do this deal, however it is an opportunity we feel we need to explore.”  We have done that and have decided to take a pass.  We will learn from this, make changes to our Firm and continue on with the strong “Eide Bailly” brand we have created.
 
We are in the heart of our busy season and we certainly don’t want to distract you from client service. Our plan is to quickly communicate this in an appropriate manner, so we can move on with “business as usual.”
 
If you have any questions, please talk to your PIC. If you are contacted by someone from the media, please direct them to Liz Stabenow in communications.  Wipfli is advising its partners and staff to follow the same protocol.
 
With this shift in focus, I look forward to redirecting our strategies and continuing to build the great firm that we have.
 
Jerry
I was able to confirm this with another source who sent me the exact same email as well as a draft of a press release from the two firms that will be put out later today. I say "draft" because I was told that the media contacts' names were not supposed to be on it but as you can see…yep. Anyway, it states that the firms couldn't agree on "key terms," which could be anything including the EB partner who was taking one in the plums or perhaps Eide Bailly's Petters problem. It's all pretty strange because everyone seemed excited last month when they made the announcement but now no one is talking. The Wipfli represenative won't go on the record, one Eide Bailly rep isn't answering her phone while the other is out of the office until Monday. Seems convenient. I left a message with EB's Director of Business Development, and also Mr. Topp and neither of them have called me back. I did manage to get Wipfli Managing Partner Rick Dreher who told me to "wait until later in the day," which I told him wasn't going to happen, to which he responded, "you go with whatever then," which is obviously what I've done.
 
Soooo, the deal's off and that's probably unfortunate for some but there's at least one happy EB partner out there. If you've got any insight on the "key terms" or other suspicions, feel free to wildly speculate below or get in touch

Eide Bailly Wipfli News Release

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