KPMG refuses to retender for Aston Martin audit

The luxury car company has begun the search for a new auditor after KPMG declined to reapply for its audit tender, less than three months after the company made its debut on the London Stock Exchange

Aston Martin, famous for its association with style icons and prominent use in the James Bond franchise, began the search after the audit firm turned down an invitation to pitch for the work. The company has since begun its search for a new auditor.

KPMG audited the company for 11 years, taking up the role in 2007. According to the company’s initial public offering (IPO) prospectus, issued in October, Aston Martin was planning to tender its audit contract, reportedly not due to any dissatisfaction with the firm’s work.

The search for a new auditor will be carried out by the company’s audit committee. The chair of the committee, Richard Solomons, qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1985 before going on to become chair of the Intercontinental Hotels Group from 2011 to 2017. He was brought on to chair the board ahead of the company's IPO.

The company announced revenue of £876m of 2017 and in 2017 full-year a pre-tax profit of £87m, following a £163m loss in 2016. In August 2018 the company announced plans to float at the London Stock Exchange as Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc.

However, its first day of trading saw it listing fell short of its targeted £5.1bn, eventually reaching £4.33bn. Aston Martin shares have fallen in value by around 30% since its IPO on 3 October 2018.

Aston Martin and KPMG have been contacted for comment.

Report by James Bunney

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