Andersen Consulting Investigating IPO

Andersen Consulting Investigating IPO <CR>

By Nick Wakeman, Senior Editor

OCT. 16 ? Andersen Consulting of Chicago is considering a partial public stock offering as a way of accelerating its growth strategy now that it has completely split from the accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

With a partial offering, Andersen would offer less than 50 percent of its stock for sale to the public.

The decision to consider a public offering was made at a meeting of 2,500 Andersen partners last week in Miami.

"We will investigate whether a partial public offering will help us accelerate our strategy while preserving the best qualities of our partnership and the vital entrepreneurial spirit that have made our firm successful," said Joe Forehand, managing partner and chief executive of Andersen.

If Andersen chooses the public offering route, it will be following the footsteps of KPMG Consulting LLC of McLean, Va., which filed registration documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission in May to go public. No date has been set for the IPO.

A KPMG spokeswoman said the firm is planning to file a fourth amendment to its initial IPO documents before the public offering goes forward.

Besides doing the financial, legal and regulatory work necessary before filing for an IPO, Andersen also is planning to begin life under a new name after Jan. 1, a spokeswoman said.

The new name, which is still under wraps, is one of the conditions established as part of Andersen's split from Arthur Andersen.

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