Sheffield-based European building products distributor SIG plc suffered a huge shareholder revolt on Thursday when more than 75% of investors rejected the reappointment of Deloitte as SIG’s auditor just a few months after SIG admitted overstating its profits in previous years.
On the resolution to re-appoint Deloitte LLP as auditor, 395,827,122 votes were counted “against” and 108,962,143 votes for counted “for.”
SIG also suffered a large protest vote on the resolution “to receive the financial statements” with 232,436,879 votes counted “against” and 271,269,028 votes counted “for.”
SIG said in a stock exchange statement: “In relation to today’s AGM, the board recognises that there has been a vote against Resolution 11 (re-appointment of the external auditors) and a substantial number of votes cast against Resolution 1 (approval of the Annual Report and Accounts).
“The board takes the views of shareholders extremely seriously, and takes this opportunity to inform shareholders that it is committed to carrying out an EU Audit Regulation compliant audit tender for the role of external auditor, as soon as practicable.
“The board intends to consult with shareholders over coming weeks on the timing of that audit tender process and the resulting appointment of a new auditor.
“In the meantime, Deloitte LLP will conclude the closing out and signing off process of the group’s subsidiary company accounts for the year ended 31 December 2017.”
SIG said in early February it “identified a historical overstatement of profit relating to the year ended 31 December 2016 and prior years and relating to the half year ended 30 June 2017.”
SIG said then that it intended to restate previous financial statements for these overstatements, which remained subject to audit, and was working with Deloitte to ensure correct accounting treatment.
SIG also said in early February it suspended a number of individuals who were being placed under disciplinary investigation.