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And now a word from the clients …

Company: Rank Group[QQ] FD: Nigel Turnbull Company turnover: £2,012m Auditors: Price Waterhouse Audit fee: £1.1m “As one of their clients I’m not that bothered. It will give me the chance to argue for lower fees in future. There must be a duplication of central costs, which will lead to savings. We buy up companies, why shouldn’t they? “My only concern is the issue of capping of liability which is still not resolved after two and a half years. The fewer the number of firms the more likely they are to stick to the same line. But if we get that resolved then I don’t see a problem.” Company: Rentokil Initial FD: Christopher Pearce (Chairman of the 100 Group of FDs) Company turnover: £2,875m Auditors: Price Waterhouse Audit fee: £2.5m “The merger reduces choice and competition. We believe there will be conflicts of interest where PW and Coopers were acting for both sides of a transaction. We don’t see advantages, we just see problems. “The Big Six already offered a reasonable geographic spread. Getting bigger for the sake of it doesn’t offer us any improvements. “At least (the logo) is self-explanatory. I’m not sure what name we will use although there’s no doubt it will have to be a contraction.” Company: Ramco Energy FD: Steve Bertram Company turnover: £7m Auditors: Coopers & Lybrand Audit fee: £73,000 “I’m very positive about the merger. It’s very good for us as Coopers did not have very many offices in the geographical area where we are predominantly based – the former Soviet Union. Price Waterhouse brings in a lot more offices in the area. “We’ll probably carry on calling it Coopers in the short-term but PWC is another possibility and a lot better than WC. I haven’t seen the new logo yet but by the sounds of it it’s better than the British Airways tail logo.” Company: Courtaulds FD: Patrick Shanley Company turnover: £1,957m Auditors: Price Waterhouse Audit fee: £1.9m “I’m very positive about the merger because it gives a greater global coverage. I was less confident about the KPMG spoiling tactics so I’m glad that’s all over. The issues over competition and conflict of interest do not concern me. “I think the name will probably be shortened to Price Waterhouse, I can’t see the Coopers name lasting much longer. I haven’t seen the logo yet, I’ll have to have a word with my partner about that.” Interviews by Mark Dixon.

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