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News > Deals
Accounting mega-merger
September 18, 1997: 10:52 a.m. ET

Price Waterhouse, Coopers & Lybrand to create leading world firm
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Price Waterhouse plans to merge with fellow powerhouse Coopers & Lybrand in a deal that could create the world's largest accounting firm.
     The pairing will allow the combined company to offer a range of tax, management and consulting services to its clients worldwide, top executives said in a statement.
     The partners in the two firms will vote on the deal in the fall, and the transaction would take effect early next year. A new name and other organizational changes haven't been finalized.
     "Our decision to combine has been driven by the recognition that our clients require seamless global support," said Nicholas Moore, chairman of Coopers & Lybrand. Moore will become chairman of the merged company.
     The deal will boost the two companies' presence in the United States, where Price Waterhouse ranks fifth and Coopers & Lybrand is sixth.
     "It is a huge development," said Paul Rogerson, editor of International Accounting Bulletin. "It is the accounting story of the decade and potentially creates the biggest accounting firm in the world."
     The companies will be able to offer a range of auditing, tax and consulting services to its large stable of blue-chip clients, said Jan Butler, a Price Waterhouse spokeswoman in New York.
     "We have compatible visions," Butler said. "Certainly consulting is a big driver of revenue growth for the industry."
     The combined company would topple Andersen Worldwide from the number one spot among the "big six" international accounting firms. It also would leave five accounting titans in the industry, including Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche and KPMG.
     Arthur Andersen had revenues of $9.5 billion in 1996. Back to top

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