PwC snaps up Booz & Co as the accountant shifts to consultancy

Marion Dakers

UNTANCY giant PwC added more firepower to its consultancy business yesterday by snapping up Booz & Co for an undisclosed sum.

While it was announced as a merger, the deal combines PwC’s $32bn annual revenues with a US strategy specialist that generates an estimated $1bn a year.

PwC, which already makes around 29 per cent of its turnover from advisory work, has been shopping around for acquisitions to boost this business as its more traditional areas of expertise, audit and tax advice, grow more slowly.

The deal is the result of talks that kicked off at the start of the year, during which rival consultancy Accenture also expressed an interest in buying Booz.

PwC also reportedly sized up Roland Berger as an acquisition target.

Booz & Co, founded in 1914, has been involved in numerous high-profile deals, including the merger of the National and American football leagues in the 1970s and the creation of Deutsche Telekom after the reunification of Germany.

The firm split from Booz Allen Hamilton, which focuses on US government consultancy work, in 2008. It has around 3,000 employees and 130 partners worldwide, including 15 partners in the UK. Its partners will vote on the deal in December before it is finalised.

“Our goal is to help clients identify and build the differentiating capabilities they need to win. This potential combination would not only deliver on this innovative value proposition but would also help reinvent management consulting for the next century,” said Booz boss Cesare Mainardi.