BDO looks at picking up Andersen offices

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The Independent Online

BDO Stoy Hayward, the world's six-largest accountancy firm, is looking to cherry pick assorted UK offices of Andersen, the troubled auditor to the collapsed US energy group Enron.

Andersen put itself up for sale this week when it announced it was considering "many options" that would allow it to continue servicing clients and providing jobs for its workforce, despite a client exodus.

BDO's UK office indicated its interest in acquiring Andersen's Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh offices. Other big-name auditors, including Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and KMPG, are in talks to buy large chunks of Andersen's global operations. Ernst & Young ruled itself out of the bidding.

Jeremy Newman, BDO's managing partner in the UK, said he was keen to fill in the firm's geographical gaps. "We are always keen to bring in good people, and Andersen has some quality people," he said.

Andersen has been under mounting pressure to find a merger partner since the US Justice Department warned that it faced indictments over the shredding of Enron documents. The deadline to settle the matter is today.