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  Employees at Arthur D.
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Little are facing a scenario not unlike that at Enron. The consultancy desperately needs to conclude a deal with VCs to ensure it has the necessary finances to last out the downturn.

But job losses are not employees only concern – the paper value of the firm`s shares has become almost worthless, inflicting major losses on current and past employees.

A twice-yearly report on the employee stock option plan, delivered late after a difficult audit, has highlighted steep paper losses for employees who own the shares. Under the terms of the stock ownership plan, employees can't cash out of their shares until they leave the company. However, even employees who have left the company this year have yet to have their shares redeemed, as ADL simply doesn't have the finances to do so.

A spokesman commented the pending sale of a majority stake in the company to outsiders is critical in making good on obligations to employees. `Our intention is to honour our commitments as soon as we can,` he said.

Last quarter Arthur D. Little disclosed it was negotiating with a group mostly comprising two private equity firms – Whitney & Co. and Safeguard International. Those talks are ongoing
 
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