The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has given the go-ahead for Deloitte to acquire substantially all that remains of consulting firm BearingPoints North American public services practice for $350 million.
As part of the deal, which was announced last month, Deloitte is assuming some of the bankrupt consultancys liabilities (see BearingPoint to Divest Key Ops to Big Four Firms).
PricewaterhouseCoopers also has agreed to buy BearingPoints commercial services arm for $25 million and its Japanese business for $45 million. BearingPoint, a spin-off of KPMG, filed for bankruptcy in February, with debts totaling $2.23 billion as of Sept. 30, 2008. The firm has been beset with debts from a string of acquisitions that went awry, along with accounting troubles and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Deloitte acquisition is expected to close in May, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust clearance.
At closing, Deloitte will acquire most of BearingPoint's assets associated with projects in the federal sector, as well as certain projects in areas such as health care, emerging markets, state and local government services, and education. As part of the deal, up to approximately 4,250 Bearing Point employees will become Deloitte principals and employees.
"We are pleased to have taken this important step toward the completion of our purchase of BearingPoint's public services practice, said Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg (pictured) in a statement. Deloitte's federal practice has grown rapidly over the past five years as we have increased our assistance to public sector clients who face ever-increasing challenges. The addition of BearingPoints highly talented team will position us for even stronger performance and further enhance our services for clients. We look forward to completing the transaction and a seamless integration.
Deloitte will be inheriting some prominent BearingPoint clients, including 15 cabinet-level departments in the federal government and 23 state governments. Judge Robert Gerber approved the sale without waiting for a confirmation hearing of the Chapter 11 reorganization, according to Reuters. David Elkind, an attorney for the Law Debenture Trust Co. of New York, which is the trustee of $450 million worth of BearingPoint notes, objected to the sale, saying that unsecured creditors would lose out in the transaction. However, the judge agreed with BearingPoint lawyer Alfredo Perezs contention that the firms value was depreciating quickly and more senior creditors would lose their money too as no better deal appeared to be in the wings.
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