KPMG is believed to have given Lowe Bell a brief to advise on its
proposed merger with rival ’big six’ firm Ernst and Young, as part of
the agency’s ongoing corporate relationship with the firm.
Ernst and Young is not using any external PR agency for the deal; its
London press office handles UK PR.
Lowe Bell also handles financial PR for KPMG but recently lost the UK
government affairs account to Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn.
For the Ernst and Young deal to go ahead, the accountancy and management
consultancy group needs to gain approval from its partners and from
European regulators. It will also be lobbying DG IV, the European
Commission directorate governing competition policy.
Should the merger go ahead the new group will become the world’s largest
accountancy firm, knocking Coopers and Lybrand/Price Waterhouse into
second and Andersen Worldwide into third place.
KPMG is the larger of the two firms, employing 6,800 partners worldwide
compared with 6,000 for Ernst and Young. Following the merger joint UK
revenue would be pounds 1.25 billion.