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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Australia. PwC sells part of its business for A$1

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PwC – one of the world’s four largest consulting firms – is selling part of its government consultancy business in Australia for A$1. This is the aftermath of a scandal that damaged the company’s reputation, the CNN portal reported.

The scandal broke in January. It is about tax advisory activities – the PwC department dealing with this has advised the Australian government on preventing tax avoidance by corporations. It turned out that a partner in the company shared confidential information with colleagues, who then used it in job offers for international companies, explained Reuters.

PwC is selling part of its Australian business for a dollar

The firm announced its “withdrawal from all government consulting work” on Sunday. Moreover, PwC is selling part of its government consultancy business in Australia Allegro Funds private fund. The price is 1 Australian dollar (approx. 0.7 US dollar, approx. 2.7 PLN), PwC said in a statement.

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As pointed out by CNN, this part of the activity accounted for about 20 percent. company revenue in Australia.

Australian PwC scandal

The website explained that the sale was preceded by allegations by the Australian Treasury that Peter Collins – a former partner of PwC – inappropriately released government documents to “many people at PwC who were directly and indirectly privy to confidential information”. The Australian Senate launched an inquiry involving the advisory sector, and in late June the Treasury referred the matter to the police for a criminal investigation. The Australian Federal Police confirmed to CNN at the time that an “investigation had been launched”, declining to comment further. Police did not provide any further information on Monday.

PwC Australia tries to regain trust. In early May, CEO Tom Seymour stepped down, as did two board members. The company also ordered nine partners to go on leave as it investigated “who may have shared or misused confidential information,” acting CEO Kristin Stubbins explained in an open letter.

The case raised questions about PwC’s broader culture. In her open letter, Stubbins acknowledged that “at the time, our tax business culture both allowed for misbehavior and did not always adequately hold leaders and stakeholders accountable.” She added that to rectify this, PwC initiated an independent review of the company’s culture and management practices, CNN reported.

PwC is one of the four largest companies dealing in advisory and consulting services. Deloitte, EY and KPMG are also mentioned here.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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