New York (March 31, 2003) - Facing delays in the planned spin-off of its consulting unit, industry speculation has surfaced that Big Four firm Deloitte & Touche may follow several of its global accounting competitors by placing a “For Sale” sign on the arm.

According to Dow Jones, unfriendly market conditions have prompted the firm to mull other options including an outright sale of the division.

Deloitte, the lone Big Four firm that still has a consulting unit, had originally planned to spin off the business by the end of 2002. Under its previously reported strategy, the unit would become a privately held entity and be rebranded Braxton. Deloitte would retain roughly a 20 percent stake in the entity.

Last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers shelved plans to spin off its consulting unit in an IPO, and instead, divested it for $3.5 billion to IBM Corp.

Meanwhile, other giant accounting firms such as Ernst & Young, KPMG and the now-defunct Arthur Andersen had all shed their consulting businesses over the last three years.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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