Atos buys two KPMG consulting units for €657m


Amsterdam-based IT services group Atos Origin has bought KPMG Consulting in the UK and The Netherlands in a €657 million (£421 million sterling) deal, it was announced today.

The company said €422 million of the agreed amount will be in cash with the balance paid in one year in Atos Origin shares derived from a convertible bond issue.

The business and IT consulting group is part of accountancy firm KPMG, but has been managed autonomously in preparation for separation from its parent.

KPMG decided to separate the consulting arm from the auditing business, partly because of the "perceived conflict of interest" between them.

It made the decision to sell its consulting business in 1998 and last year floated KPMG Consulting in the US. In Europe, its accounting firm and consulting practice have been operating independently for more than 18 months.

Partners in KPMG and Andersen voted unanimously to merge their Irish operations at the end of April this year.

The merger secures KPMG's position as the second-largest accountancy firm in the State, with 66 partners, 1,430 employees and turnover of €144 million.