Bloomberg | | Posted by Singh Rahul Sunilkumar
Jul 11, 2023 03:28 PM IST
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs will decide whether to escalate the matter to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office based on the findings of the inspection.
India’s government has ordered an inspection into the account books of education-technology titan Byju’s, which has been rocked by the resignation of its auditor and three board members last month, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has sought a report in six weeks, said the people, asking not to be named as the information isn’t public. The inspection follows an internal assessment of the company’s state of affairs and — based on findings of the inspection — the government will decide if the matter needs to be escalated to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.
The inspection would be a new headache for Byju’s, valued at $22 billion in the last funding round, as it restarts negotiations to restructure its $1.2 billion term loan after breaching certain terms of its debt agreement. Once emblematic of India’s booming startup scene, the company has cut thousands of jobs and is seeking to raise more than a billion dollars to tide over financial difficulties.
A spokesperson for Byju’s didn’t respond to an email and text messages seeking comment. An email to the Ministry for Corporate Affairs wasn’t immediately answered.
Deloitte Haskins & Sells resigned as Byju’s auditor last month, citing a delay in submitting financial statements. Representatives of three influential backers — Peak XV, Prosus NV and the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative — quit Byju’s board in the same week, underscoring a rapid erosion of trust within the company’s ranks.