22nd June 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning Amid all this market chaos, we know you’re probably dying to know how the billionaires are doing. The answer: not great. In fact, 500 of the world’s wealthiest people have lost a combined $1.4tr this year, $206bn in the past week alone.
- Ocado taps market for £575m fundraise
- EY partners set for huge break-up payday
Ocado taps market for £575m fundraise
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Energy bills “to breach £3,000” in the New Year
- Union rejects Rolls Royce £2,000 living-cost bonus
- Cadbury owner to buy energy bar maker Clif Bar for $2.9bn
- Craft beermaker Brewdog approached Heineken about partial sale
- Kellogg's to split business into three
- Spain's easyJet cabin crew plan strikes for July
- Paramount+ launches bringing another streaming platform to the UK
EY partners set for huge break-up payday
Partners at accounting and consulting giant EY could net up to $8m each if the firm goes ahead with proposals to split up the business.
How did we get here?
For years the big four accounting firms — Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY — have come under intense pressure in the UK and the US. Regulators are particularly keen for them resolve the potential conflict of interest that occurs when selling consulting services to companies while also claiming to be independent auditors of companies’ finances.
One solution would be to separate these business areas completely and EY is making a head start. Last month EY partners began drafting plans to split the company in two:
- The high growth advisory business which advises companies on taxes, mergers and acquisitions and strategy would become a new firm that goes public. 15% of the company would be sold for $10bn while it borrows $17bn, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal. Partners would own 70% of the company - worth around $8m each - and the remaining 15% would go to stock awards for employees.
- The lower growth accounting business would become a standalone business. A huge chunk of the money raised and borrowed through the public listing of the advisory business would be used to pay off the partners in the accounting arm. They would each get two to four times their annual pay of $850,000 to $900,000.
A similar split happened 20 years ago when Accenture was spun out of auditor Arthur Andersen. Former “Big Five” auditor Arthur Andersen later collapsed following its involvement in the Enron scandal while Accenture continues to thrive.
Next steps: EY partners will vote on the proposals in the coming weeks and the break-up of the 312,000-person firm could take place as soon as 2023.
Stat of the day
Research by Kantar estimates that the average annual grocery bill is on course to rise by £380
Interesting links from around the web
- The ultimate hack for warm weather: how to chill a bottle of white wine in less than 3 minutes
- 6 ways your imposter syndrome could be costing you money
- The people who hate working from home