BearingPoint sells assets; Deloitte gets government business

BearingPoint Inc., a consulting company based in McLean, Va., that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, will sell most of its assets, with Deloitte picking up the consulting firm's U.S. government business.

According to a company statement, “BearingPoint and Deloitte have entered into an asset purchase agreement by which Deloitte will purchase a significant portion of BearingPoint’s largest business unit, Public Services, for a price of $350 million, subject to adjustment and customary closing conditions.”

The investment bank Houlihan Lokey served as an advisor to Deloitte in the transaction.

BearingPoint also has signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell most of its North American commercial business, including its financial services unit, to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for $25 million. PwC Advisory Co. Ltd. , also known as PwC Japan, is also in advanced negotiations to buy the consulting practice in Japan.

BearingPoint also is in late-stage negotiations with its local management teams to sell its European and Latin America practices, the company statement added.

“We have concluded that a sale of the company’s business units maximizes value and provides the greatest stability for all interested parties,” said Ed Harbach, BearingPoint chief executive officer, in the announcement. “We are pleased that several parties have expressed interest in purchasing the majority of the company.”

Harbach said the purchase offers “reflect the inherent value of our business and the world-class service we continue to provide our clients.”

Bearing Point has about 15,000 employees, including about 3,600 in the Washington, D.C., region, focusing on the public, commercial and financial services industries.

BearingPoint became a separate company in 2001, when it split off from KPMG LLP, a provider of audit, tax and advisory services.

The firm had been weighed down by $1 billion in debt before its bankruptcy filing, and it faced an April 15 deadline to repay $200 million in loans, according to the Washington Post.

BearingPoint ranks No. 28 on Washington Technology’s 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

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