Shareholders of SSL International are to vote next week on the reappointment of Andersen, despite the fact the auditor has missed massive errors in the company’s accounts over the last two years.
Andersen’s role at the company, which makes Marigold gloves and Durex condoms, has been in doubt since mistakes, including a £50m stock error, were found in its accounts. Its finances are now under investigation by forensic accountants from KPMG.
But an SSL spokeswoman told Accountancy Age that material sent out to shareholders prior to Monday’s annual general meeting includes a proposal for the re-appointment of Andersen.
But she added the investigation into the accounts was ongoing and the company could not really do anything until the probe was completed.
Voting on auditors at agms is standard procedure and shareholders can vote against the firm proposed.
And City figures speculated this could happen in this case.
Nervous investors have lost confidence in the company, a fact reflected in SSL’s share price, which has lost more than half of its value since November 2000.
SSL is a large international business. It is likely therefore that if Andersen’s gets jilted, one of its Big Five rivals will be appointed.
An Andersen spokesman said: ‘We’ll see what happens.’
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