Raymond Doherty 8 Aug 2019 10:23am

Ineos to replace PwC as auditor

Ineos, the UK-based global chemicals group, is set to replace PwC as its auditors with Big Four rival Deloitte, according to reports

The business, owned by one of the UK’s richest individuals Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has decided to part ways with PwC over a tax avoidance row. The firm has audited Ineos since its launch in 1998.

Earlier this year reports emerged that PwC had considered resigning after Ineos founder Sir Jim laid out plans to move to Monaco to avoid paying taxes.

According to reports in February, Sir Jim and two other Ineos executives had been working with the Big Four firm on a plan that could save them up to save up to £4bn in taxes.

PwC had been advising the chemicals group on creating a new tax structure to enable Sir Jim, Andy Currie and John Reece to move between £1bn and £10bn offshore, which would have caused the Treasury to lose out on a minimum of £400m and a maximum of £4bn in tax.

At the time, a source close to the situation told the Sunday Times that PwC has found itself “boxed in” to Ineos bosses’ tax avoidance plans, which were described as “egregious”. “PwC sort of has no choice,” the unnamed person told the newspaper.

The Financial Times reports today that the story had resulted in a “breakdown” in the relationship between PwC and Sir Jim.

PwC is not commenting.