LONDON — Gradually, then suddenly. Two and a half months after R1.3bn market cap Sygnia very publicly fired Gupta audit firm KPMG, others are rapidly heading for the exit. In the wake of the South African operations of Munich Re and the Western Cape’s development arm Wesgro comes the first big fish. Today the R30bn, 3,300 store retail group TFG headed for the exit because of “governance concerns.” TFG, which is best known through its retail brands like Markhams, Foschini, Totalsports, @Home and American Swiss, is the biggest audit client thus far to cut ties with the firm over the Gupta scandal. In the most recent financial year to end March 2017, KPMG billed R6.4m for the TFG audit, up 12% on the previous year.
JSE-listed TFG (The Foschini Group) has, with immediate effect, appointed Deloitte & Touche as its auditing firm after terminating its relationship with KPMG Inc. “We have initiated this change in response to governance concerns raised at KPMG Inc,” says TFG CEO Doug Murray.
“TFG remains committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, and to our role as a leading investor in growing the local manufacturing industry and the economy as a whole in South Africa.”
Murray says that this decision is in line with TFG’s recently announced commitment to the #BusinessBelieves project, an initiative of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA).