PwC has resigned as external auditor of Oceana because of a “strained” relationship with the company, and a lack of transparent communication with the board, amid a tumultuous period at the troubled fisheries and logistics group.
At the last annual general meeting, shareholders holding 38% of Oceana’s shares voted against retaining PwC as the group’s auditors. Oceana was meant to consult with shareholders on the reappointment of PwC on Monday, but instead announced on the day that PwC had resigned.
“Shareholders are now advised that late afternoon, Friday (…) PwC resigned as auditors of the group with immediate effect in respect of the audit of the financial year ending September 2022.”
Oceana said PwC said this was “due to their assessment of significant doubt as to whether there was objective and transparent communication between the board and PwC given the strained relationship, which they assert constituted a significant impairment of their independence.”
Oceana was looking at alternatives to PwC, and discussions with another of the big four auditing firms were progressing.
Monday’s meeting will still go ahead in order to provide shareholders a chance to engage with Oceana’s audit committee.
Oceana owns canned fish brand Lucky Star and also has a presence in other global markets where it sells fishmeal, fish oil and fish. It also owns a logistics company specialising in cold storage and transport of products such as fish, fruit and vegetables, poultry and meat.