SINGAPORE: Olam in "deluded denial" of fiscal problems, Muddy Waters
Investment firm Muddy Waters has said Olam International is in continued "deluded denial" of its fiscal problems and has offered to pay for the firm to get its debt rated by Standard & Poor's.
The statement by the firm founded by Carson Block follows the filing of a lawsuit by Olam in the High Court of Singapore this week as a result of "negative statements" made by Carson at the Sohn London Investment Conference in London.
Last week, Muddy Waters published a 135-page report that likened Olam to Enron, a US company that went bankrupt in 2001, noting the Singapore company was ‘‘likely to fail'' and questioning the bookkeeping on its acquisition of a flour milling business in Nigeria. Olam reportedly responded two days later, according to the New York Times, with a 45-page report dismissing the finding as ‘‘false and misleading".
In the latest volley, Muddy Waters responded today saying the response was "a waste of toner", as much of the report comprised "canned presentation slides and consultant drivel".
"Where Olam's response attempts to be substantive, it contains numerous instances of irrelevant information, factual inaccuracies, misleading statements, and mischaracterisations of our report. However, the response does demonstrate Olam's continuing deluded denial of its fiscal problems. It seems the Titanic is still heading full steam toward the iceberg.
"We hereby make a bona fide offer to pay for Olam to have one of its public debt issues rated by S&P. It is Olam that suggested investors analyse the company per a 12-year old research piece on agricultural commodity inventories by Standard & Poor's.
Muddy Waters added its offer to pay for the debt rating would expire on Wednesday.
Olam could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.
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