New York (April 8, 2002) -- Just hours after beleaguered Andersen agreed to divest its tax unit to big Five rival Deloitte & Touche, it has reportedly struck an agreement with KPMG for about 440 partners and staff in the Western U.S.

The Wall Street Journal reported that an internal email detailed the agreement, which would encompass roughly 40 partners and 400 staff with audit and tax backgrounds in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Boise, Idaho, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A separate transaction for Boston is also reportedly in negotiations. A KPMG spokesman declined to comment on the story.

In other news, Andersen's Middle East partners said on Friday they will join rival firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as the accountant battles a government indictment over its Enron Corp. audits.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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