PracticeAccounting FirmsKPMG Holland votes against Europe merger

KPMG Holland votes against Europe merger

Decision lost by a single vote as some partners worry about British way of doing business

KPMG in Holland has voted against a planned merger with the new KPMG Europe
grouping.

The UK, Swiss and German arms are merging to form a new mega-firm in Europe,
but the Dutch will not now join the group immediately, after a vote among the
firm’s 220 partners saw them one vote short of the required two-thirds majority.

Sources suggested that the Dutch vote reflected a suspicion of takeovers by
British companies.

The other European firms are set to go ahead with the merger on October 1.

Of the 206 partners who voted last night in Holland, 135 were in favour,
three abstained and 68 were against.

A spokesman for KPMG Holland said: ‘The board is strengthened by the majority
of 66% in favour, and is sticking to its conviction that in the long term we
need in this business the European scale of operations. The board is still of
the conviction that the European structure as negotiated in the LLP is an
attractive and proportional deal.’

Critics of the move are said to be sceptical that cooperation really means
cooperation, and that a takeover will not result. The sentiments represent a
general cultural friction, and are not a personal comment on the UK firm, it is
thought.

The Dutch firm, which turns over around 500m Euros (£350m) a year, is set to
now go into a period of discussions about what to do next.

The vote comes as KPMG Europe outlined its
full
management board today
, with German Dr Joachim Schindler heading up audit.

Further Reading:

KPMG goes for German head of audit

German move blazes trail for Big Four

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