The move represents a massive u-turn by PwC, which has publicly denied any interest in Andersen’s business, and was the only Big Five to maintain its distance from potential interest.
The decision by the offices, comes just two days after Andersen in the UK announced the firm was to merge with KPMG – excluding the US business – but added individual countries would vote on their futures.
Andersen now faces an anxious wait to find out whether any other national businesses will decide to defect. It is understood many offices preferred a move to Deloitte & Touche.
Albert Ng, Andersen managing partner in Greater China, said: ‘Whilst we remain deeply upset by the events affecting Andersen in the USA which have led to this development, we have no doubt that joining PricewaterhouseCoopers offers great opportunities and benefits for our firm, our people and – above all – our clients.’
Silas Yang, chairman and senior partner of PwC in Hong Kong, and Kent Watson, chairman and chief executive of PwC in China, added: ‘We have the highest regard for the practice and professionalism of our new colleagues and are delighted that they will be joining with us to realise the enormous potential of a combined practice with PricewaterhouseCoopers.’
A PwC spokesmasn in the UK had previously denied suggestions PwC would become interested in any Andersen business.
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