UK-based private chemicals group Ineos is believed to be parting company with PwC as auditor in a row over tax. Last year the auditor was paid a total of £6.2m, up from £5.1m in 2017.

Earlier this year, The Sunday Times had reported in February that PwC was considering its position as auditor after concerns regarding what the newspaper described as ‘an ambitious tax-avoidance plan being put together by its three most senior executives’. That month, Ineos, controlled by billionaire Sir James Ratcliffe who owns 60% of the company, paid a dividend of EUR 1.45bn to a Luxembourg-based parent company – one of the largest dividend payments ever made by a privately held UK company.

The Financial Times now reports that PwC has been replaced by Deloitte following what it calls ‘a breakdown’ in the relationship between Ineos and PwC.