Coca-Cola SA and Sasol cut ties with McKinsey
Global consulting firm McKinsey has lost two more major clients because of its alleged nefarious involvement in state capture and the Guptas’ controversial business network.
The South African arm of Coca-Cola told the Financial Times that it did not have any current contracts with McKinsey, neither would it contract the company for future work. Coca-Cola has worked with McKinsey in the past.
According to a statement released by Coca-Cola South Africa, “In light of the recent allegations, neither it or and its bottling partner Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will contract any future work with the consultancy in South Africa until external investigations into potential corruption have been completed and can be assessed.”
A Sasol spokesperson told the Financial Times that it had also halted work with the firm following the allegations levelled against McKinsey and the possibility that the firm will be drawn into a “litigious dispute on the lawfulness of revenue it generated from a consulting arrangement with Eskom”.
The energy company said “McKinsey is currently only consulting on projects it had been involved with prior to this decision” such as the digitisation of Sasol’s chemicals business and the performance improvement for Sasol’s mining business.
McKinsey has denied any wrongdoing in claims it was involved in state capture through its work with Eskom and the Gupta-owned Trillian Capital consulting firm. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States has opened an investigation into McKinsey for any fraudulent activity the company may have facilitated through its work with the Guptas. The FBI is also investigating global auditing giant KPMG for the same allegation.
McKinsey may face further pressure in the months to come. President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of a judicial inquiry into state capture earlier this week could see companies alleged to be involved in the Gupta’s alleged illicit network face legal ramifications in South Africa.
To date, most of the large companies to cut ties with McKinsey have been Nedbank, Standard Bank and Barclays Africa.