PwC Consulting Files SEC Registration for IPO

Big Five firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has announced that its consulting arm, PwC Consulting, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering of Class A common shares. The IPO is filed under the name of PwCC Limited, however the company has indicated it plans to change that name before the float actually occurs, sometime in mid-August.

PwC attempted an $18 billion sale of its consultancy in 2000 to Hewlett-Packard, but that sale fell through. Financial analysts expect the PwCC IPO to be valued at less than half that amount.

PwC originally announced in January its plans to float an IPO. Morgan Stanley is handling the IPO. Shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. So far no details have been released regarding the number or price of the shares to be offered.

In the filing, PwC Consulting indicated it plans to spend approximately $110 million over the next two years promoting the new consultancy and its new brand name. PwC Consulting employs 33,500 and had revenue of $6.7 billion in fiscal 2001. Under the terms of the separation agreement, management consulting and technology service businesses representing approximately 95% of PwC Consulting's revenue for fiscal 2001 will transfer to PwCC.

Accounting firms have been under pressure from regulatory agencies to separate consulting and audit practices. Big Five firms KPMG, Andersen, and Ernst & Young have already separated from their consultancies. Deloitte & Touche is planning a similar move. "The primary purpose of this offering is to ensure that we will no longer be subject to the rules and regulations governing the independence of auditors from their clients and to eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest," said the firm in its SEC filing.

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