Insurance Companies Try to Stop Andersen Actions
American National Insurance Co. and several other insurance companies have asked a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction preventing Big Five firm Andersen from selling assets or transferring them to foreign subsidiaries or affiliates. Claiming that "There won't be anything left to collect from" unless a court stops Andersen from its current plan of divestiture, the plaintiffs are expressing concern that Andersen is trying to shield assets from liability in the Enron case.
The insurance companies also seek to prevent Andersen from releasing Andersen partners and employees from their non-compete clause should they go with another firm.
Andersen announced on Friday an agreement for a "significant number" of its U.S. tax professionals to join Deloitte & Touche, and The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that KPMG also has agreed to acquire 400 members of Andersen's U.S. professional staff and 40 partners.
Patrick Dorton, an Andersen spokesman, dismissed the claim saying, "There is no evidence that Andersen is trying to hide assets, dissipate them, or remove them from the court's jurisdiction and indeed no evidence that, if Andersen has in fact disposed of any 'asset,' it has not received fair value for it."
Other insurers participating in the court action include American National Investment Accounts Inc., Standard Life and Accident Insurance Co., Farm Family Life Insurance Co., and National Western Life Insurance Co.