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Andersen confirms merger talks with KPMG

The confirmation comes after Andersen was indicted on criminal charges in the US which named the firm’s London office as location for the shredding of Enron documents.

A merger would see the creation of firm in the UK alone worth £1.7bn. Andersen’s global business exclusing USA is worth more than £3bn.

Mike Rake, Chairman of KPMG EMA Region said:’We are continuing to work together to consider possible ways in which tocombine our operations throughout the major markets of Europe, Africa,Middle East, Canada, Asia and Latin America. Such a combination would becomplementary in terms of geographic coverage and industry expertise.’

Aldo Cardeso, Chairman of the Board of Andersen Worldwide: ‘Any such combination would create a global network that can continue toprovide the best service in every part of the world and represents anoutstanding opportunity for our partners and people.’

Negotiations continue between Andersen and KPMG and any merger will be subject to the approval of partners from both firms in the various national practices acrosss.

A KPMG spokesman said the conversations included the UK firm of Andersen but said KPMG would not shoulder any Enron-related liabilities.

‘We want to make sure that’s all outside the circle,’ he said. ‘We want to ring-fence the bits we think are viable.’

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