Big Five firm Arthur Andersen LLP, fighting for its life in a Houston courtroom, took time late last week to announce that approximately 2,000 professionals, including nearly 200 partners, all members of the firm's U.S. tax practice, will join Big Five rival Deloitte & Touche immediately. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Previously, Big Five firm Ernst & Young and leveraged buyout firm Fox Paine & Co. have expressed an interest in acquiring some or all of Andersen's U.S. tax practice. In total, before Andersen announced a firm wide layoff of 7,000 U.S. employees, the Andersen tax practice consisted of 450 partners and about 4,000 staff.
Andersen also announced it has closed a transaction to transfer the firm's audit and tax practices in Pittsburgh to Big Five firm Ernst & Young.
KPMG has agreed to hire Andersen partners and employees in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland, Ore., and Boise. The agreement with KPMG involves 411 Andersen personnel.
Earlier last week, Andersen announced that Ernst & Young will acquire Andersen's offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio. The transfer includes 159 Andersen personnel, including 14 partners and principals.
Andersen partners are reporting that they are paying Andersen $100,000 to $150,000 for the right to go to other firms and take clients with them.