PwC Agrees to Acquire Booz & Co.

Prospective merger puts issue of auditor independence "front and center," according to Arthur Levitt.

PwC, the network of member accounting firms, agreed to acquire Booz & Co. to expand its advisory business. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The deal would give PwC about 3,000 added employees in 57 locations worldwide, creating a firm whose services include auditing as well as advice on risk management, deals, human resources, ethics, and information technology. Booz partners are scheduled to vote on the transaction in December, according to a statement today from the two firms.

Kathryn Oliver, a PwC spokeswoman, declined to comment beyond the statement, as did Margaret Kashmir, a spokeswoman for New York-based Booz.

Enron used Arthur Andersen LLP as its auditor for 16 years. The accounting firm earned more from consulting than it did from auditing Enron’s books, which regulators say may have led it to ignore accounting violations.

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