H&R Block To Compete With 'Big Four'Auditors

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KANSAS CITY - (08/03/05) -- Tax preparers H&R Block Inc.said it has agreed to acquire the tax and business services unit ofAmerican Express Co. for $220 million, propelling it into the topranks of the accounting industry. The business, which will becombined with Block's RSM McGladrey, the leading auditors of bigcredit unions, will be the fifth largest accounting and businessservice firm in the U.S., ranking behind No. 4 KPMG and No. 6 GrantThornton. The sale represents continued efforts by American Expressto shed its non-credit card businesses. The company is in theprocess of spinning off its American Express Financial Advisors toshareholders later this year.

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