Sports Direct dismisses rumours it is looking to replace Grant Thornton

Sports Direct has dismissed rumours that is seeking to replace current auditor Grant Thornton, amid a chaotic results announcement that saw the company hit with a €674m tax bill from Belgian authorities.

In its trading update for the year ending 28 April 2019, the company said it has noted “inaccurate reports” of an audit tender process being run in 2019, and that this was “not the case”.

It added its intention is to ask shareholders to approve Grant Thornton’s reappointment for a further year at its upcoming AGM.

However, in regards to the announcement, The Telegraph has reported that accountants at Grant Thornton were only informed of the claim from the Belgian authorities early on Friday, according to “well-placed sources”.

Grant Thornton has been Sports Direct’s auditor since 2007. The sports due to the company growing “exponentially” in size, geography, and complexity over recent years, it does not believe a firm outside of the ‘Big Four’ will “potentially be able to cope with such an audit in the future”.

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