BDO Eyes Acquisition Opportunities, Reaches Not-so-Secret Settlement

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Print Email

If you listen to the M&A buzz in recent days, BDO USA is on the tip of many people’s tongues as a firm that will become an acquirer in 2011.

It is not odd nor should it be that a large national firm would be on the lookout in target market for potential acquisitions. The firm dominating the M&A buzz for the first four months of 2011 was Grant Thornton.

The tipping point that has loosened everyone tongues is a bit of an oddity, the fact the firm reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in the Banco Espirito/Bankest case. Since news trickled out regarding the settlement, the firms name has been included in M&A discussions regarding firms that will most likely make an acquisition this year. It's not odd they are included the discussion, the firm did do one deal in 2010: McBride Shopa & Co./Wilmington, Del. effective Nov. 1, it is just they weren't being mentioned with the same frequency prior to last week. That has now changed.

To paraphrase Dragnet’s Detective Joe Friday – here are the facts and just facts about BDO USA’s settlement with the plaintiffs in the Banco Espirito/Bankest litigation:

- The amount and terms of the settlement are confidential.

-If the settlements are approved the litigation is resolved. Completely.

- The fact there is a settlement is not secret. BDO and the plaintiff’s counsel are more than happy to tell anyone that asks about the existence of the confidential settlement agreement. The official statement about settlement fr om BDO spokesman Jerry Walsh is included below.

- Confidential settlements are not uncommon with accounting firms. Sure the settlement with Banco Espirito/Bankest is the first confidential one of the year, but in 2010 there were at least three settlements that were confidential or the amount was not made public. The aforementioned three are just three of the settlements we know about wh the settlement and or terms were confidential. There are probably more than the three, but there were at least three in 2010.

- A bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing on the settlement agreement on May 19. That hearing isn’t a secret either. The May 19 hearing is private, not secret.

BDO Settlement Statement

BDO USA, LLP has entered into confidential settlement agreements with Banco Espirito Santo and Barry Mukamal, the bankruptcy trustee of E.S. Bankest, L.C., pursuant to which the lawsuits against BDO have been resolved.

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