Labat says that it has terminated the services of Nolands Cape Town with immediate effect, blaming the audit firm for being responsible for the late annual financials that got it suspended from the JSE.
Labat issued a cautionary notice to shareholders on 9 January 2024 saying the termination was “prompted by concerns regarding the timely and efficient completion of the audit for the fiscal year ending on 31 May 2023, due to a steady breakdown of the relationship and communication from October 2023 onwards”.
The company, whose shares have been suspended on the JSE, says it will immediately begin a search for a new auditor.
Nolands was appointed by Labat’s audit and risk committee in May last year. According to a statement issued on SENS on 1 June 2023: the Board “endorsed appointment of Nolands Incorporated as the external auditor of Labat, with Mr Ferdinand Cloete. as the designated audit partner, for the financial year ending 31 May 2023, thereby replacing the Company’s current external auditor, SAB&T Nexia Inc.
The idea behind the Nolands’ appointment was that Labat would have a single audit firm for the entire group “which should achieve efficiencies in both the auditing and reporting of the group”.
However, within five months of Nolands’ appointment, Labat said communications broke down, leading the the company’s suspension from the JSE for not submiting its 31 May 2023 annual financial statements timeously. Labat retains its dual listing on the Frankfort Stock Exchange, but it’s become clear that investors and shareholders have a long wait before they can trade their shares again on the JSE.