Andersen Worldwide Network Continues to Disintegrate

In the latest disintegration report of post-Enron Andersen, Big Five firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has confirmed plans to merge with Andersen's Spanish faction. The decision by Andersen Spain - long considered to be the "crown jewel" of Andersen's European member firms - to go with Deloitte would seem to be the death knell to any plans for a nearly-worldwide KPMG/Andersen merger. Analysts speculate that with Andersen's offices in Spain going to Deloitte, Andersen's Latin American organization will follow.

It is uncertain at this time whether Andersen Spain's legal unit, Garrigues & Andersen, which dropped Andersen from its name last week, will join the Deloitte network.

Andersen Singapore also announced a merger deal with Ernst & Young. Today's announcement from Singapore may open the doors for similar negotiations with E&Y in other Asia and Latin American nations.

Andersen Thailand had announced earlier that it has reached an agreement to merge that unit into KPMG.

Although some Andersen factions around the world, notably Canada, U.K., and certain areas of the Middle East and Asia, are still conducting merger negotiations with KPMG, the proposal for a worldwide Andersen/KPMG merger, which seemed so likely just two weeks ago, is just a memory.

Discussions about an attempt at a worldwide merger between KPMG and Andersen have been officially disbanded as a result of the mounting defections of independent Andersen operations, intent on making their own choices about their future partner.

The disintegration of the worldwide network has placed additional pressure on settlement talks between Andersen and Enron shareholders. The ability of the firm to generate cash from any worldwide merger deal has collapsed, and the solvency of the firm continues to be questioned.

As the Andersen Worldwide Network continues to fracture, AccountingWEB will keep you up-to-date with Andersen Worldwide Network: Who's Going Where? Bookmark that page and return often to see the latest developments in the reshuffling of the Andersen Worldwide Network.

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