KPMG Consulting Inc, the US arm of the Big Five consulting practice, is due today, Thursday, to launch its initial public offering on NASDAQ in New York with a $1.9bn (#1.27bn) price tag.
It is anticipated KPMG Consulting, the first arm of a Big Five firm to make a public offering, will use the money raised as a war chest to buy the firm’s other consultancies around the world, including the UK office.
The flotation, which will be watched closely by other firms, had been put back several months due to volatile market conditions, leading to a cut in its original plans to raise $2.75bn.
A spokesman for NASDAQ confirmed this week’s launch date but added that ‘nothing is set in stone’.
KPMG Consulting Inc already owns the Irish consultancy, and reportedly the 45 partners in Ireland are now set to make #1m each once the float is completed.
In the UK, the consulting practice is now run as a virtually autonomous organisation separate from the main accountancy practice, with its own management board. Last year the UK firm reported fee income of #272m for consultancy work.
However, in the US the consulting practice earned KPMG almost $2.4bn (#1.6bn).
KPMG was not permitted to reveal a firm date for the IPO but did say it felt there would be no immediate implications for the firm in the UK.
A spokesman for KPMG said: ‘Overall our vision for KPMG UK remains unchanged – ie to be an integral part of a global, publicly-owned, management solutions consultancy.’
The success or otherwise of the IPO will be of particular interest to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which last year was set to sell its consultancy practice to Hewlett-Packard, only to see the deal fall through as HP’s share price was hit by turbulence in the technology market.
Ernst & Young has so far been the only large firm to sell its consultancy practice, completing a deal with Cap Gemini worldwide for $11bn.
For more details see www.nasdaq.com
The KPMG website is at www.kpmg.com.
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