1 July 2019: After the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) took a strong view against the big four audit firms, the board of IL&FS has shortlisted Indian firms to reopen and recast IL&FS’ books and the mandate for the job is likely to go to Borkar & Muzumdar and GM Kapadia and Co.
The recast is expected to be completed in three months once the matter is conformed. Since the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the SFIO have taken a strong view against some of the big four agencies that were auditors to IL&FS and are being probed for their role in not being able to raise the red flag, the choice may fall upon Indian firms from a list of potential firms available with the board.
“Borkar and Muzumdar would be auditing IFIN and IL&FS while GM Kapadia would be auditing ITNL accounts for the past five years from FY13-FY18,” a person aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
The IL&FS board has already shared its recommendations with the MCA, which in turn will seek the court’s approval, the person said. An IL&FS spokesperson declined to comment on the development. This move by the board follows the Supreme Court order on June 4, 2019, allowing the company to reopen and recast past five-year books of accounts to ascertain the extent of irregularities by the erstwhile management in case of IL&FS, IFIN and ITNL.
NCLAT had already approved the reopening and recasting of accounts of IL&FS and group companies but it was challenged in the Supreme Court, which was vacated by the apex court recently.
This move of completing the recast in a time-bound manner will also help in divesting assets in these companies, as the bidders would be able to take an informed, call-based decision on the revised audited accounts of the company, the person cited earlier said.
The board has already announced divestment of various businesses, including roads, which are in various stages of due diligence by companies that have participated in the expression of interest process. It has raised funds by selling renewable energy business. Stake sale in seven wind energy SPVs is in the final stage after Japan’s Orix has conveyed its decision to match Gail’s offer.
Last week, the board reviewed the progress on divestment of all domestic and overseas assets and decided to constitute a six-member empowered committee — including four directors Vineet Nayyar, CS Rajan, Bijay Kumar, N Srinivasan, and COO N Sivaraman — to discuss and finalise the asset-wise framework of resolution with lenders. The board also decided to allow the bidders for toll road assets to jointly monitor traffic data and assess the revenue stream.