Grant Thornton resigns as auditor to firms owned by Pornhub operator

Move away from Mindgeek follows claims of unlawful content on Pornhub website

Since 2012, Grant Thornton provided audit services to a number of Mindgeek companies and  allowed the Pornhub owner to use its office as its registered address. Photograph: Tom Honan

Since 2012, Grant Thornton provided audit services to a number of Mindgeek companies and allowed the Pornhub owner to use its office as its registered address. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

Grant Thornton has resigned as auditors to four Dublin companies owned by Mindgeek, the operator of the world’s most visited pornographic website, Pornhub.

The move follows allegations of unlawful content on the Pornhub website in December. Pornhub denied the allegations and, less than a week later, it suspended all content uploaded by unverified users.

Asked about the decision to resign as auditors to Mindgeek firms here, a spokeswoman for Grant Thornton said on Tuesday: “In light of the serious nature of recent developments, Grant Thornton Ireland have disengaged with the aforementioned client.”

MG Billing

She said the firm was not in a position to comment any further.

Of the four Mindgeek companies, MG Billing Ltd generated revenues of $1.3 billion ( €1.07 billion) between 2012 and 2018. It collects subscriptions from premium users for the Mindgeek global porn empire. Revenues for 2018 totalled $220.9 million – or a weekly average of $4.2 million.

Prior to the controversy, there were over 100 million daily visits to Pornhub.

Registered address

Grant Thornton has resigned as auditors to three other Mindgeek companies: Nutaku Publishing Ltd, Mirmay Ltd and Liquidum Ltd.

Since 2012, Grant Thornton had provided audit services to a number of Mindgeek companies and also allowed the Pornhub owner to use Grant Thornton’s office address as its registered address here.

The bulk of Mindgeek’s 1,800 employees are based in Montreal and the company is headquartered in Luxembourg.