Big4 Auditor Changes week ending 02/10/13

A handful of SEC filers made auditor changes involving Big4 firms this week.  E&Y is the winner, with a net +1 gain in clients. KPMG broke even, while PwC and Deloitte each lost a client.

Biopharmaceutical company Myrexis is an interesting case. The company announced in November they had plans to liquidate and dissolve the company. Given their cash balance, they were anticipating a distribution of $2.72 to $2.91 per share to shareholders. In January, Myrexis changed course, kind of.  They still distributed cash by declaring a special dividend of $2.86 per share but instead of dissolving the company, a new CEO was hired to evaluate strategic alternatives.  All this must have been too much for E&Y, which resigned on Friday.

First Place Financial said KPMG resigned, “without stating any reason for the resignation.” That seems odd, but then you keep reading.  First Place filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, and, “has no plans to reorganize under the bankruptcy laws.” I guess no reason was really needed.

We’ve been seeing more changes recently come about as a result of competitive bid processes. This week, it was Vera Bradley and Warwick Valley Telephone that made the change. In both cases, Ernst & Young was the winner.

Filing Date

Company

Location

Old Auditor

New Auditor

Dismissal / Resignation

2/4/2013 Vera Bradley, Inc. IN PwC LLP Ernst & Young LLP Dismissal
2/4/2013 Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NJ Deloitte & Touche LLP KPMG LLP Dismissal
2/5/2013 First Place Financial Corp. OH KPMG LLP Resignation
2/6/2013 Warwick Valley Telephone Company NY Withum Smith+Brown, PC Ernst & Young LLP Dismissal
2/8/2013 Myrexis, Inc. UT Ernst & Young LLP EisnerAmper LLP Resignation

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See you again next week for more updates here at the Big 4 Auditor Carousel. Round and round we go…

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