Another Big 5 to Go Public

Accenture plans $1B IPO.

Accentures planned $1 billion IPO may boost the ailing tech sector, according to analysts who follow the high-profile consulting firm.

Accenture partners voted last week to take the company public. Accenture also filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed offering of Class A common shares. The offering is being handled by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley.

The company did not say how many shares would be offered, nor did it set a date for the offering.

Accentures IPO comes at a critical time for the consulting sector and the high-tech market as a whole.

Many companies have retracted or delayed their IPOs because of the turbulent economic climate. However, Accenture says in its prospectus that it has not yet seen a "contraction" in demand for its business services.

However, rumors are swirling that the company plans to lay off a small percentage of its 70,000 employees.

Accentures CEO says the IPO is vital for attracting and retaining employees. "Our partners decision reflects our organizations commitment to enhance our long-term growth," says Joe Forehand, CEO and managing partner at Accenture.

In February, KPMG Consulting broke the ice by becoming the first of the Big Five consulting firms to go public. Its $2.1 billion IPO was the biggest U.S.-based issue since the $10.6 billion AT&T Wireless offering last April.