No impact on tax, consulting: Price Waterhouse


The ban stipulates that PW and the firms in its network (PWC India) can not audit listed companies and intermediaries for two years.

In India, all audit functions within the group are conducted under the Price Waterhouse (PW) brand, with a network of local firms operating under the banner. Currently, PW network firms carry out auditing activities for about 75 listed companies, an official in the know told the news agency.

"We believe that the order is also not in line with the directions of the Bombay High Court order of 2010 and so we are confident of getting a stay", Price Waterhouse said in a statement. "The SEBI order relates to a fraud that took place almost a decade ago in which we played no part and had no knowledge of", a spokesperson at the accounting firm said, Reuters reported.

In an 108-page order released late on Wednesday, SEBI directed the auditing firm and two of its partners - S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri - to disgorge ₹13.09 crore along with 12% interest per annum since January 2009.

"As we have said since 2009, there has been no intentional wrongdoing by PW firms in the unprecedented management perpetrated fraud at Satyam, nor have we seen any material evidence to the contrary".

After consent pleas were rejected, PW had approached the Supreme Court challenging Sebi's jurisdiction over auditors. While making it clear that it will appeal against the Sebi order next week, Price Waterhouse (PW) also comforted around 3,000 auditors, saying that it will take care of their interest and there was no reason to worry.

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"The SEBI order relates to a fraud that took place almost a decade ago in which we played no part and had no knowledge of".

Satyam founder and former chairman Ramalinga Raju stunned Indian markets and investors in 2009 when he admitted that it had overstated earnings and assets for several years, in a fraud sometimes referred to as "India's Enron".

"They might lose a lot of business on the other sides, not just audit, and they have to report it in other jurisdictions".

Following this, Sebi initiated an investigation and found that certain directors and employees of Satyam had connived and collaborated in the overstatement, fabrication and misrepresentation in the book of accounts and financial statements of the company.

In a 108-page statement, SEBI said that the manner in which various entities bearing the PwC name had been registered in India in a "nebulous way", made it hard not to take notice of the "loss of faith of the investors in the brand name".