Chilean blow for Coopers

Arthur Andersen’s Chilean operation has merged with defecting Coopers & Lybrand member firm Langton Clarke y Cia.

“Arthur Andersen is delighted to have agreed in principle to this merger with Langton Clarke y Cia. The deal will give us nearly 50 per cent market share in Chile, which is very important to us, in particular to our US and Spanish clients,” said Jim Wadia, worldwide managing partner of Arthur Andersen.

Wadia says that instead of merging, his strategy has been to look for multi-disciplinary firms that would improve its market position in specific markets.

“We have another five transactions in the pipeline, positioned worldwide.

Just one will give us a very strong market position,” said Wadia, who believes the Chilean move is the first sign of fallout from the Big Six mergers.

“In the ’80s when KMG merged with Peat Marwick, the fallout was Frinault Fiduciare in France. They decided to join us and that took us from fifth position in France to first position; when Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young, the fallout was Asahi in Japan, and again that brought us from fifth position for number one,” said Wadia.

Over the last two weeks 14 partners from Deloitte & Touche’s Chilean-member firm joined together with Langton Clarke y Cia, and together approached Arthur Andersen. The firm originally represented both Coopers & Lybrand and Andersen Worldwide, and has five offices and 450 staff.

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