After discovering a bad batch of accounting, Molson Coors Brewing Co. has restated financials back to 2016 to unravel hundreds of millions of dollars in improperly reported earnings.
Audited by PwC since 1974, the company issued a Form 8-K meant to warn investors they can no longer rely on consolidated financial statements for 2016 and 2017 as a result of a net $247.7 million mistake in the reporting of deferred tax liabilities. On the same day, the company filed its 2018 10-K with the amended figures. Molson Coors says it discovered the problem as it prepared its 2018 financial statements, spotting errors in the accounting associated with its partnership in MillerCoors.
Molson Coors formed the MillerCoors joint venture with SABMiller in 2008, then acquired SABMiller’s share in 2016. The company said then the deal made Molson Coors the third largest global brewer.
To correct the errors, the company will increase its deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax expenses for 2016 by $399.1 million, which means a hit by the same amount to its previously reported earnings. For 2017, the company needs to revalue its deferred tax figures under the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will reduce deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax expense by $151.4 million, and that also hits earnings.
“These adjustments resulted in an aggregate $247.7 million increase to the company’s deferred tax liabilities and corresponding decrease in retained earnings and total equity as of December 31, 2017,” the company reported in its Form 8-K filing to alert the market of its need to restate. With the restatement, the company also is revising its 2018 quarterly reports, although it says the changes are not material.
The restatement also prompted management to determine it had a material weakness in internal control over financial reporting. “Specifically, the company did not design appropriate controls to identify and reconcile deferred income taxes associated with the accounting for acquired partnership interests,” the filing says.
The company has already tinkered with other errors associated with the same time period and earlier. In a November 2017 10-Q, the company corrected 2016 reported earnings associated with subsidiary guarantor equity. Then in 2017, the company’s 10-K revised financial statements from Jan. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015, to reflect guidance from the Financial Accounting Standards Board on share-based compensation and income tax expenses.
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