Auditor row over KPNQwest accounts

The Dutch-US joint venture declared bankruptcy in Holland on 31 May after parent companies KPN and Qwest, which own 87% of the company, withdrew their support for the ailing company facing a mountain of debt.

J McMaster, KPNQwest’s former chief executive denied allegations the group had inflated its figures last Thursday and said auditor Andersen had signed off its 2001 accounts.

But a spokesman from Deloittes in the Netherlands, which merged with Andersen in May, denied the auditor had done so.

He told ‘Andersen did not give its approval to the figures. We had not finished our work at KPNQwest yet.’

Questions over the accounts have prompted banks, including Citibank and ABN AMRO to call for an investigation into KPNQwest’s accounts, a Citibank spokesman confirmed.

He said: ‘The banks are demanding an inquiry to decide whether existing accounts are accurate. There are discrepancies surrounding the company’s finances, an investigation needs to take place.’

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