PwC and KPMG in battle after media giants merge

Link: Traditional FD has edge at Carlton & Granada

The media giants will merge in a £4.5bn deal to form a company that will control 52% of the television advertising market.

As part of the deal, Henry Staunton, current finance director at Granada, will take on the FD role at the combined company, meaning Paul Murray will step down from his position as finance director of Carlton.

A spokesperson for Carlton said it was still unclear how many job losses in the accounting and finance departments of the two groups would result from the merger.

The auditor of the combined company has not yet been announced but KPMG’s relationship with Granada may lead to PwC losing out on an extremely lucrative client. Last year KPMG earned a total of £1.3m in fees from Granada while PwC enjoyed £1.2m from Carlton.

Six non-executive directors have been named to oversee the new company and will include Sir Brian Pitman and Sir George Russell. They said a top priority would be to address issues of corporate governance.

‘The non-executive directors will work together … to address a number of important matters, including compliance with the new combined code on corporate governance,’ a joint statement read.

‘The two senior independent directors (Sir Brian Pitman and Sir George Russell) will be consulting with major institutional shareholders.’

Staunton joined Granada in 1993 as group FD after a successful career as a partner at PwC. Murray was appointed as FD of Carlton only last year, after previously serving as FD for oil and gas company LASMO.

Michael Green, current chairman of Carlton will be chairman of the group while Charles Allen, current chairman of Granada will become chief executive.

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