Business Irish

Friday 30 September 2016

KPMG's €70m fees for liquidation

Published 26/04/2015 | 02:30

The appointment of KPMG to carry out the review has been rejected by Opposition TD
The appointment of KPMG to carry out the review has been rejected by Opposition TD

KPMG, the special liquidators appointed by the Government to review the sale of Siteserv, has already received more than €70m in professional fees related to the liquidation of IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank.

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A report published by the Department of Finance last month shows that KPMG received €71.3m, or nearly half of the almost €160m paid out in fees from February 2013 to December 2014. The audit firm has by far received more in fees than any other firm associated with the liquidation. The legal firm, Arthur Cox, for example, received €5.5m to the end of last year.

Two senior executives associated with KPMG, Hugh Cooney, currently a consultant and company director at the audit firm, and Robert Dix, a partner for 10 years to 2008, have also acted as chairman and non-executive director at Siteserv respectively.

The appointment of KPMG to carry out the review has been rejected by Opposition TDs, who have pointed out that the special liquidators also acted in the liquidation of Siteserv.

The Opposition says it is inadequate that KPMG reviews the probity and commercial reasoning behind a transaction that was approved by the same accounting firm, although by a different department of the firm and by different executives.

Both Mr Cooney and Mr Dix have in the past vigorously defended the Siteserv deal, one of several IBRC sales now under review.

Mr Cooney has said: "I am an experienced director and take my responsibilities seriously. I am very happy to stand over the process."

Mr Dix has said: "We always knew this transaction would be open to full scrutiny because our lender was being asked to write off a considerable amount of money." The best deal, he said, had been achieved.

According to the Department of Finance, KPMG rates are based on Nama rate cards for the relevant services.

The total fees chargeable were before a rebate of €5m was agreed following discussions at the request of Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Sunday Independent

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