In a dramatic flair that contradicts its earlier restructuring plan, BearingPoint announced late last night that it would be selling off "substantially all of its businesses to a number of parties."
For starters, the firm sold off a "significant portion" of its biggest unit, its public services division, to Deloitte for $350 million (which will make Deloitte happy, seeing as how it's been on a kick to strengthen its federal government services unit for the past few years). BearingPoint has also signed a letter of intent stating that it will sell a sizable portion of its North American commercial business, including the financial services segment, to PwC for $25 million. Shedding off more layers, the firm is also in talks to sell off its European, Latin American and Asia Pacific practices to as-yet-to-be-announced local buyers. (There is wind on our message boards that the Asia Pacific groups will be snapped up by Accenture).
"Since we entered the restructuring process, we've been committed to evaluating all strategic options with the goal of charting the best possible course for the people, clients and creditors of BearingPoint," said CEO Ed Harbach. “We have concluded that a sale of the company's business units maximizes value and provides the greatest stability for all interested parties.”
While this news certainly doesn't come as a shock to many (cue weepy violins), it does come as somewhat of a sad ending for a firm that fought its way through a run of financial troubles starting in 2002, only to catch up with itself in late 2007, and then stumble again, this time irreparably.
As the sales have not been finalized, stay tuned for up-to-date coverage and insight onto how the sale will affect current BearingPoint consultants (here's a snippet from our message board, from consultants anxious about how the transition will unfold).
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