Updated from 12:06 p.m. EDT
pulled out of a big offering by
one day after the consulting firm revealed that an unauthorized email sent by one of its underwriters might violate securities law.
Goldman said it wasn't responsible for the email.
The deal's other lead underwriter,
, Friday became the sole lead manager of the offering, in which 93.5 million shares were priced at $20 each. The deal is valued at $1.87 billion.
Goldman's pullout followed Accenture's disclosure in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that an employee of an underwriter distributed an unauthorized e-mail message containing forward-looking statements to about nine potential institutional investors that may have violated securities law.
"That was not Goldman Sachs," said Andrea Rachman, a spokeswoman for Goldman, who would not comment further on the decision. A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley also declined to comment.
CS First Boston,
Salomon Smith Barney
Banc of America
, and others were also among the syndicate's members.
Roxanne Taylor, a spokeswoman for Accenture, wouldn't comment on the details of the move, other than to say: "The decision was by mutual agreement. We are pleased with the execution of the deal."
Accenture, the former Andersen Consulting, was trading at the offering price on Friday after losing $2.22, or 10%, to finish at $19.90 on Thursday. The stock is down 26% this year
Goldman's unusual last-minute decision comes as investment banks are starved for deals. "There has to be a reason for it," said Kyle Huske, an analyst at IPO.com. "Goldman definitely needs the money."
The offering was the second biggest of 2002, behind
Valley of the Rio Doce
, a Brazilian company that introduced shares in America earlier this year. According to data from Dealogic, the percent of the sale going to the underwriters -- or the gross spread -- was 2.5%, or a total of $46.7 million.
Accenture plans to use the proceeds from the sale in the primary offering to redeem partner shares, a feature that has sometimes drawn criticism from shareholder advocates.
"If insiders think it's time to cash out of the stock," said David Menlow, president of IPOFinancial.com, "what kind of confidence factor is that for new investors?"
In the meantime, analysts lauded Morgan Stanley's ability to keep the offering together, in light of the Goldman news. "A lead underwriter pulling out has the air of imminent disaster," said Menlow. "That the stock is holding in shoots holes in that theory."