Tongaat Hulett forensic probe is done – but its results have been delayed, yet again


On Monday evening, Tongaat Hulett announced that it is still not ready to release its results to the end of March. It also won't publish a forensic report into activities at the company.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has wrapped up and handed over its forensic report into suspect activities at Tongaat Hulett.

In June, the 127-year old company and biggest sugar producer in SA, was suspended on the JSE and in London, where it has been listed since 1939. Tongaat asked that its listings be suspended because of accounting irregularities.

Tongaat said an ongoing financial review has revealed that "certain past practices" do not reflect the company's business performance accurately. The overstatements may have been related to the treatment of Tongaat's property assets, analysts have speculated.

PwC has been busy with a report into irregularities at the company since March, and the final report has been issued.

"An overview of the report will be provided to shareholders at an appropriate time. The report itself is confidential and subject to legal privilege, and accordingly will not be published," Tongaat said in a statement.

Along with the forensic review, the company has also launched an internal review of the "appropriateness" of its accounting policies.

"The internal review process has been complex and extensive, going back some six years. It was performed in consultation with the group's external auditors and has necessitated a number of amendments to the group's major accounting policies and practices."

As a result, the company says it won't be able to publish its March-end results on the planned release date of October 31.

It will now only announce the release date in mid-November.

Tongaat said it is progressing well in its negotiations with its South African and Mozambican debt providers on the restructure of its short and long-term debt facilities.

Before its suspension, Tongaat's market capitalisation was R1.8bn, while its 2018 financial results show that total liabilities amount to R14.6bn. 

The company is considering the possible sale of assets, a possible equity capital raise, or a combination thereof to help settle its debt.

Compiled by Helena Wasserman

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
26% - 355 votes
No, I have deleted it
44% - 589 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 397 votes