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PricewaterhouseCoopers to buy Booz consulting firm

NEW YORK — PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday that it had agreed to buy the consulting firm Booz & Co., bolstering its advisory business, a chief source of growth for the firm.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although Booz & Co. is expected to be PricewaterhouseCoopers’s biggest acquisition in several years.

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Still, the union of the two firms is likely to bring scrutiny from regulatory agencies around the world as it again raises the issue of an accounting firm’s buildup of a consulting business that could pose conflicts of interest.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Booz & Co. have taken steps to quell any concerns, according to people briefed on the matter. The two companies are expected to review client matters, with Booz partners expected to drop consulting assignments that conflict with existing auditing clients.

Booz & Co. partners are expected to vote on the deal in December, with an update on the merger to come by the end of the year. The people briefed on the matter said they expected PricewaterhouseCoopers to retain the vast majority of Booz’s partners.

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