Joel Muckett 13 Nov 2017 08:47am

Bidcorp reappoints KPMG South Africa as auditor

KPMG South Africa has been reappointed as the auditor of multinational food service group Bidcorp, despite other companies cutting ties with the firm

Bidcorp – which operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australasia, and emerging markets in Africa and South Africa – has a £5.4bn market capitalisation and has used KPMG as its auditor for two years.

BusinessLIVE reported that the decision was announced at Bidcorp’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Non-executive chairman Brian Joffe said shareholders had voted for the troubled firm to remain its auditor due to remedial action being taken to strengthen its governance and audit quality process.

The company had felt “reassured” by the newly appointed management team at the Big Four firm’s South African office, along with their commitment to an independent investigation into the concerns raised and making changes prescribed.

Over 92% of shareholders, representing 74% of the total issued shares, voted to reappoint the firm. Fewer than 8% voted against and 0.26% abstained.

A shareholder told the management team of the food service group that the reappointment was equal to supporting corruption.

KPMG South Africa has been embroiled in controversy due to its involvement in the Gupta scandal, where an internal investigation found the auditor missed “red flags” when dealing with companies owned by the powerful Gupta family.

Issues with a report produced for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) were uncovered, leading to the agency’s commissioner Tom Moyane demanding the KPMG be blacklisted for “unethical” and “unlawful” behaviour.

The scandal triggered resignations from most of the local senior management team, including former chief executive Trevor Hoole.

Nhlamu Dlomu was appointed as the South African office’s chief executive, and told a South African parliamentary committee that she was “determined” to not replicate the mistakes made by the firm during the Gupta scandal.

Multiple companies have cut ties with KPMG in the wake of the scandal, including TFG and Interwaste, who appointed Big Four rival Deloitte as their new auditor.