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Tongaat Hulett hires PwC to investigate its business practices

This comes after the 127-year old sugar company suspended the trading of its shares on the JSE and London Stock Exchange on Monday.

Picture: @pwc_za/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Tongaat Hulett has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to investigate “certain practices” in its business.

This comes after the 127-year old sugar company suspended the trading of its shares on the JSE and London Stock Exchange on Monday.

Tongaat says its financial reports for 2018 could not be relied on, as it had misstated its revenue from land sales by between R3.5 and R4.5 billion.

Tongaat Hulett may have counted the revenue it made from land sales before it was due to the company. A move that has seen the share price plummet at least 85% from its highs of R89 a share in August last year.

Deloitte, who has audited the company for the last 15 years, is in hot water for the accounting irregularity which includes the undercounting of expenses.

It has since replaced all the senior auditors at Tongaat, prompting the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors, IRBA, to conduct its own investigation into Deloitte’s work.

Deloitte was also in charge of the books at Steinhoff before it collapsed.

No fingers have yet been pointed at former CEO Peter Staude and financial head Murray Munro who both left ahead of its AGM in August last year.

In February, Tongaat Hulett said it expected earnings to drop by 250%.

Blaming its misfortunes on a surge in sugar imports and the sugar tax implemented by the National Treasury.

Tongaat believes it will continue to trade in October once it has released its reviewed financial statements.