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Manpasand Beverages stock slumps again; firm denies Deloitte’s allegations

Fruit juice maker Manpasand Beverages Ltd continued its stock market slide on Wednesday even as the company denied that its alleged refusal to cooperate with Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP led to the auditor’s exit.

The SAIF Partners-backed company plunged into turmoil after it revealed on Monday that Deloitte had resigned as its auditor over the weekend. Its shares slumped 20% each on Monday and Tuesday, and 10% today—the maximum permissible limit for each day.

The stock closed at Rs 248.30 on the BSE on Wednesday, its sixth consecutive loss. The stock had touched a peak in January after tripling over over the initial public offering price of Rs 320 apiece three years ago. But it’s still above the IPO price as the company had in September last year approved a bonus issue of one share for each held.

In its latest stock-exchange filing, Manpasand said Deloitte had sent its resignation letter on 26 May and refused the audit firm’s allegations.

Deloitte had said in its letter that it was resigning because Manpasand had not provided it with “significant information” which it had requested several times for the purposes of auditing the financial results and that it would not be able to audit the company’s books.

The auditing firm also pointed out that there had been no progress with respect to the “pending information, evidences and explanations” despite several reminders.

Manpasand, however, denied any such inaction on its part. “Deloitte has been an auditor of Manpasand for eight long years, and we have been providing all required information as and when required by them. While there could have been some delays but we have never denied sharing any information with them ever,” the company said.

The auditor’s resignation came four days ahead of a board meeting where the Vadodara-based company was to look at audited results for the year ended March 2018. The board meeting had been postponed, Manpasand said on Monday, adding that the resignation was “a minor hiccup”.

To fill up the vacancy, the company has appointed Delhi-based Mehra Goel & Co. as the new auditor. The new auditor “shall hold office till conclusion of the annual general meeting, subject to approval of the members of the company,” the juice maker said.

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