The hottest accountancy news this weekend was the revelation that computer and printing equipment giant Hewlett-Packard was in talks with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to buy its global management consulting business in a deal estimated to be worth $17 to $18 million.
This move may be a direct result of the recent rulings promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the separation of audit and consulting services. The PwC consultancy business, which is in the process of splitting from its accounting parent, has become a target for takeover-hungry predators such as HP.
The Sunday Times in Great Britain reported that PwC has been considering three suitors to help it raise the capital to develop its business. The other two are believed to have been the German giant Siemens and America's General Electric.
Hewlett-Packard has been expanding its own consulting business to generate more profits away from its core interests. In July it signed a deal with Cisco Systems to offer global consulting to enterprise and service-provider customers. The company was also rumoured to be among the bidders for Ernst & Young's consulting arm, bought by Cap Gemini in March.