Lernout & Hauspie granted reprieve

A commercial court in Ieper, Belgium granted the concordaat (Judicial Composition) last week.

Under the concordaat, the court has put Lernout & Hauspie under a six-month observation period, allowing the beleaguered company to implement its recovery plan. The court has also appointed three composition trustees to oversee the company during this observation period.

As part of its recovery plan, Lernout & Hauspie is expected to make 1,200 of its employees redundant during the first quarter of 2001.

In a statement, chief executive John Deurden said he regretted the layoffs adding: ‘Unfortunately, after an extensive and careful analysis of Lernout & Hauspie’s existing resources, we were unable to identify any alternatives to this measure.’

This is the second time Lernout & Hauspie has applied for a concordaat after the Ieper court rejected it last month. The new judgement gives some reprieve to the company after accounting irregularities were discovered in its Korean arm last year. In November, the company decided to restate its results following a probe by KPMG Bedrijfsrevisoren in Belgium.


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