© Evelyn Simak (geograph.org.uk)
Asda’s new owner EG Group seeks to reassure shareholders following its auditor Deloitte’s unexpected resignation. The separation is understood to be partly due to concerns regarding a lack of independent directors, according to Retail Gazette. EG Group currently has more than €8 billion in debt from buying petrol stations across the world including hundreds of sites in Australia and the US. EG Group owns around 6,000 petrol stations and posted nearly €20 billion in revenue last year. Deloitte’s reasons for resignation remain unclear, though governance concerns had been raised, with Deloitte reportedly unsatisfied that EG Group’s internal controls were keeping pace with its growth. EG maintained that Deloitte signed a clean audit for EG Group’s 2019 financial statements, and there have been no disagreements on any auditing or accounting matters.
The petrol station business is separate from the £6.8 billion Asda acquisition completed this month, with the Issa brothers and TDR set to take equal stakes in the group.
Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit has incorporated Deloitte, which will be present to discuss the future of food. The meeting will bring together professionals, entities, investors and startups linked to the digital transformation of the agri-food sector on June 20 and 21 at FYCMA (Palace of Congresses and Fairs of Málaga).
Shay Eliaz, innovation leader at Deloitte and global head of Deloitte’s ‘Future of Food’ initiative, will participate as a speaker to analyse the future of food. Eliaz has extensive experience advising clients in the agri-food sector around the world helping them to respond to the challenges of the current market. In addition, he is an advisor in the ‘New Vision for Agriculture’ project of the World Economic Forum, and was a speaker at the Davos Forum in 2016, where he presented the work ‘The Future of Global Food Systems: A Scenarios Analysis’.
The event has positioned itself as a reference point at a European level focused on the field of digital transformation and entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector. It is jointly organised by the European Foundation for Innovation (INTEC) and FYCMA (Palace of Congresses and Fairs of Malaga) and promoted by the European initiative ‘Startup Europe’ of the European Commission within the framework of the Digital Single Market strategy.
The event will allow professionals to know the latest technologies applied to the agri-food value chain. It is a meeting point to share innovative ideas, trends and access to the latest developments linked to this industry. In addition, it will promote entrepreneurial and innovative growth of startups, EBTs and spin-offs, offering development opportunities and access to venture capital funds and business angels with interest in the foodtech sector.
In addition, SVG Ventures & Thrive will participate as the main partner in the event. Participating as Golden Partners will be the Andalusian Knowledge Agency, Alltech Crop Science, Ceseand-Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Deloitte and Galpagro. Silver Partners are COVAP and IBM, and Bronze Partners are EIT Climate-Kic, EIT Food and the University of Malaga (UMA).
Information is available at: https://smartagrifoodsummit.com/, as well as on the Facebook page and Twitter profiles @SmartAgriFoodSu and Linkedin.