International consulting firm Deloitte has quit as an auditor of the Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, the Gautam Adani-led company said on Saturday, reported NDTV.

In a statement, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone confirmed that Deloitte has resigned and announced appointing MSKA and Associates as the new auditor.

Deloitte has been the auditor of Adani Ports since 2017 and was reappointed for another five-year term in June last year.

Mint reported that Deloitte had resigned on Saturday citing difference of opinion with the Adani Group firm.

In its notes to the financial statements both for 2022-’23 and the June quarter, the London-based company had mentioned that Adani Ports renegotiated the terms of sale of its under-construction container terminal in Myanmar with Solar Energy resulting in an impairment loss of Rs 1,273.38 crore, according to Mint.

“The [Adani] group did not consider it necessary to have an independent external examination of these allegations [made by Hindenburg] because of their evaluation and the ongoing investigation by the SEBI,” Deloitte had said.

The consulting firm had also said about the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone that “there were financing transactions [including equity] with/by certain other parties identified in the allegations made in the short-seller report, which the group has represented to us were not related parties”.

Deloitte was referring to a report released by American firm Hindenburg Research on January 24 that had alleged that billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate was pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”.

Hindenburg had claimed that the Adani Group has been involved in accounting fraud, improper use of tax havens and money laundering. The Adani Group has rejected these allegations.

On Saturday, the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, however, said that Deloitte left as it wanted a wider role as auditor in other firms of the conglomerate. “The Audit Committee [of the Adani firm[ was of the view that the grounds advanced by Deloitte for resignation as statutory auditor were not convincing or sufficient to warrant such a move,” the company said.

It added: “It was also conveyed that it is not within the remit of the APSEZ [Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone] and its board to recommend group-wide appointments as other listed Adani portfolio companies are completely independent, with separate boards, executive teams and minority shareholders.”

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