The Daily Telegraph

Two-partner firm quits as auditor at Gupta steel empire

- By Simon Foy

Spotlight falls on two-partner firm that audited Gupta’s empire

A TWO-PARTNER accounting firm has quit as the auditor of Sanjeev Gupta’s main UK steel businesses, just months after a regulatory investigat­ion was launched into its work.

King & King, the longstandi­ng auditor of the tycoon’s industrial empire, has resigned from checking the books of Liberty Speciality Steels and Liberty Steel Dalzell, according to Companies House filings.

The two companies form part of Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance and manage sizable steelmakin­g operations at Rotherham and Stocksbrid­ge in South Yorkshire.

In May, the accounting watchdog kicked off an investigat­ion into King & King’s audits of four GFG companies, including Liberty Speciality Steels, for the year to March 2019.

Last year, bosses at the accountant were questioned by MPS about whether it was capable of auditing vast swathes of Mr Gupta’s steel empire. Milan Patel, one of the firm’s two partners, declined to answer questions about GFG at the hearing, citing legal advice.

It comes after The Daily Telegraph revealed last year that the firm at the centre of a multibilli­on-pound controvers­y had just two partners and two modest offices in London. King & King has previously been responsibl­e for auditing 23 of Gupta’s Uk-registered companies. Collective­ly those businesses represent 90pc of Mr Gupta’s 5,000-strong UK workforce and rank among the most complex of the 35 entities that are not deemed smaller businesses or subject to audit exemptions.

The Telegraph revealed last year that King & King had been paid approximat­ely £1.1m for auditing more than £1.4bn of revenue generated by Mr Gupta’s companies, based on Companies House filings.

Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance has been dogged by difficulti­es since its main lender Greensill Capital collapsed last year. A spokesman for GFG said the company had “parted company with King & King due to issues resulting from the collapse of Greensill Capital”.

King & King was contacted comment.

 ?? ?? How The Telegraph reported that Gupta’s auditor, King & King, had just two partners
How The Telegraph reported that Gupta’s auditor, King & King, had just two partners

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