PwC to sell US mergers arm for £1.3bn

A number of major investment banks are expected to be amongst those bidding for the £1.3bn practice, according to the Sunday Business. The sale does not include PwC’s European corporate finance practice, which is to remain part of the firms audit practice.

The sale has been delayed since last year, following disputes arising with the US Securities & Exchange Commission. In November last year, the SEC sent letters to thousands of firms announcing tough new guidelines on auditor independence.

In the same month, PwC failed to agree the sale of its entire consulting arm to IT company Hewlett-Packard for £18bn, but dismissed the notion that it tried to sell off its consulting division because of pressure from the SEC.

The SEC rules limit the amount of consultancy work, particularly in IT, large accountancy firms can offer audit clients, but do not prohibit firms from offering a number of non-audit services.

PwC was one of the few large audit firms to come out in support the SEC’s new guidelines.

A US spokesperson declined to comment on the division.


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