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Deloitte denies media reports on restructuring plans

·1-min read
Offices of Deloitte are seen in London

(Reuters) - Deloitte, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, said late on Wednesday that media reports about the company exploring a plan to split its global audit and consulting practices are "categorically untrue".

The news of the split, reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier in the day, came a few weeks after another Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young said it was evaluating strategic options to improve audit quality.

"As stated previously, we remain committed to our current business model," a Deloitte spokesperson told Reuters.

According to the WSJ report, Deloitte reached out to investment bankers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc and talks are still at a very early stage.

Goldman and JPMorgan Chase & Co are advising Ernst & Young on its possible restructuring, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

KPMG, another Big Four accounting firm, declined to comment on its business plans.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is "fully committed to our strategy which we announced last year ... have no plans to change course", a company spokesperson told Reuters.

PricewaterhouseCoopers announced a new global strategy last year, which included increased investment to support audit quality.

For years, the four accounting giants have been under the regulatory scanner over worries that their advisory service offerings could impair audit quality and potentially create conflicts of interest.

Last month, Britain set out reforms of big company audits, in response to recommendations from three government-sponsored reviews on improving auditing in a market dominated by the Big Four.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shounak Dasgupta)

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