Tui Travel PLC won shareholders’ agreement to its appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as auditor at an Annual General Meeting on Thursday.
PwC replaced former group auditor KPMG, who resigned at the start of the year after uncovering an accounting error – first revealed in August. The mistake led Tui Travel to restate its accounts to the tune of £117 million.
Shareholder advisory group PIRC (Pensions Investment Research Consultants) had recommended Tui investors oppose the appointment of PwC as replacement, on the grounds that PwC was the auditor for part of the Tui Travel group – Thomson – where the mistake originated five years ago.
Tui Travel is majority-owned by German-based Tui AG with a 55% stake. Most of the remaining shares are held by banks and investment houses with the largest stakes no more than 2%-3%.
Shareholders at the AGM passed resolutions accepting the group’s annual report and re-electing board members by margins above 97% and frequently close to 100%.
There was minority opposition to the appointment of PwC, with investors holding about 6% of shares abstaining and a further 7% voting against.
Financial Times analyst and Travel Weekly columnist David Stevenson said: “Clearly a handful of institutional investors are annoyed at the accounting mess up, the subsequent switch of auditors and the directors’ share-option scheme, but nowhere near as many as the media might have imagined.”
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