Grant Thornton to quit as Sports Direct auditor over 674 million euro tax bill - FT

(Reuters) - Grant Thornton, the auditor of Sports Direct International SPD.L, has told UK regulators it intends to quit its role following concerns over the disclosure of a 674 million euro (£614.6 million) tax bill from Belgian authorities, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The firm made the decision to resign after Sports Direct informed it of the tax bill just hours before it was due to sign off on the company’s annual results, the FT said.

Grant Thornton is set to step away from its role after the troubled retailer’s annual general meeting in September, the FT said.

The audit watchdog Financial Reporting Council has been informed of its plans, the newspaper said, citing sources.

The British sporting goods retailer earlier in the day blamed the tax bill from Belgian authorities as the reason for the delay in announcement of its annual results.

Sports Direct, Grant Thornton and the FRC did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comments.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler