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Published: Tuesday, 5/7/2002

Ernst & Young buys Andersen offices in Toledo, 3 other cities

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Accounting firm Ernst & Young said yesterday it has bought four Midwestern offices of beleaguered rival Arthur Andersen, including the Toledo office, effective immediately.

The announcement, in keeping with a Blade story two weeks ago that said a deal was in the works, said the other offices are in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids, Mich. The deal includes nearly 160 Andersen employees, including 14 partners and principals.

The Toledo Andersen office has about 30 employees. Stephen Staelin, office managing partner at Toledo's Ernst & Young operation, will remain the top local executive of the combined offices.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Ernst & Young is to begin this week a four-day orientation program with its new hires. Plans to combine other assets, such as office space and material resources, are still being developed.

Andersen, one of the Big Five accounting firms, brought up on criminal charges for its role in the collapse of energy trader Enron Corp., has lost more than 200 blue-chip clients, including Toledo's Owens Corning.

Andersen has signed preliminary agreements to sell operations with 900 of its 1,300 audit partners.



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