PracticeConsultingOnline Newsflash – US authorities clear PW/Coopers merger

Online Newsflash - US authorities clear PW/Coopers merger

Merger candidates Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand have just one major regulatory hurdle to clear after the US Department of Justice approved the firms' get-together on Thursday 12 March. Jon Bunn reports.

PW and Coopers expect the European Commission to clarify its position at noon on Monday 16 March, when it will either issue its official statement of objections or give the merger the go-ahead. But a PW spokesman told Accountancy Age the merger would not take place if Europe gave it the thumbs down.

He said: ‘Both firms have said that unless the Commission gives us regulatory approval we will not merge. This is a global merger.’

The firms were expecting the commission?s statement of objections to arrive today, but the US announcement appeared to force a European delay. US approval was, the PW spokesman said, unconditional.

In a joint statement, Nicholas Moore, the Coopers chairman, and his PW counterpart, Jim Schiro, said: ‘Our firms are extremely gratified the US Justice Department, following a lengthy review, has said it finds no reason to oppose our combination.

‘This is a major hurdle and moves us that much closer to fulfilling our aim of creating the world’s premier professional services firm.’

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