AdSlot 1 (Leaderboard)

Andersen faces sack as SSL probes accounts.

SSL International, the healthcare company hit by a black hole in its accounts, plans to sack Andersen and pitch for new auditors.

Although SSL, makers of Durex condoms and Marigold gloves, reappointed the Big Five firm at its annual general meeting in Manchester last Thursday, it told shareholders it would be reviewing its audit situation.

A spokeswoman said: ‘The company indicated (it would) review its auditor, but confirmed the reappointment because it is a publicly-listed company and is required to have auditors.’

Andersen has audited SSL since the company was created in June 1999.

The firm had given the company a clean audit report for the period to 31 March 2000, which is currently under investigation over irregularities including a #50m stock error, together with overstated profits and sales figures.

Sources close to the company said the process of replacing Andersen was underway.

Chairman Stuart Wallis told shareholders the investigation, carried out by KPMG forensic accountants, was ‘virtually complete and the file passed on to the Serious Fraud Office for review.’

Andersen was unavailable for comment.

SSL’s former finance director, Paul Sanders, who left in December, this month became interim chief executive at Baltimore Technologies.

Fraud office focus on SSL

Related reading