PracticeAccounting FirmsPwC accused of rushing IPO to keep staff

PwC accused of rushing IPO to keep staff

Big Five firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers this week stood accused by some of its own partners of rushing the sale of its consulting arm in a bid to stave off the possible defection of clients.

The firm has confirmed plans for the initial public offering of PwC Consulting, some 17 months after an $18bn deal collapsed to sell the division to Hewlett Packard.

It is understood the valuation of the business could now be a lot less than in the original deal, with one unnamed partner claiming a large number of clients have put work with the firm on hold until the divisions are separated.

The partner said: ‘A large amount of PwC Consulting work is on hold, and will only be freed up when the separation has taken place. A number have said they will go elsewhere unless the consulting business is split from the accounting firm.’

The firm was unable to comment on the accusations, as it is in a closed period.

The firm has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to float the company on the New York Stock Exchange under the name of PwC Inc.

IT giant Hewlett-Packard announced a shock withdrawal from the $18bn deal to buy the consulting arm of PwC in November 2000 after the company unveiled disappointing results. HP is now set to merge with Compaq.

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