PwC faced conflict of interest claims on Tuesday over its role handling the winding-up of failed building giant Carillion, a British multinational facilities management and construction services company headquarteredand the second-biggest construction company in the UK.
According to a news report in the Evening Standard, Carillion was placed in liquidation yesterday with PwC appointed as the special manager to the Government’s Official Receiver in the wake of a collapse likely to cost more than 40,000 jobs and send hundreds of smaller suppliers to the wall.
“But PwC takes on the role alongside its existing work for the Government as an adviser to the Cabinet Office on outsourcing. It is also an adviser to the Carillion pension scheme, which has about 28,000 members and will be placed into the Pension Protection Fund, cutting benefits for thousands of non-retirees. ”
According to the report PwC declined to comment but sources stressed that separate ring-fenced teams worked on the pension fund and the outsourcing advisory roles. They added that the role of “special manager” was different to the more common administration process — where administrators take an executive role and run the company — as in Carillion’s case PwC will be given “limited, delegated powers” by the Official Receiver.
Apparently Carillion collapsed with debts of £1.6 billion and a pension deficit of £587 million.