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Diamond Foods to make SEC filings ‘as promptly as practicable’

By Kacey Culliney, 09-Oct-2012

Related topics: Manufacturers, Prepared Foods, Snacks

Diamond Foods has said it will file all of its late SEC filings ‘as promptly as practicable’ following a second NASDAQ determination letter threatening delisting.

The US premium snacks and nuts specialist received an initial NASDAQ determination letter back in June but it was granted an extension until December 7 2012 to report all filings and hold its annual shareholder meeting by January 14 2013.

Diamond’s portfolio includes Kettle Brand potato chips, Pop Secret microwave popcorn, Emerald premium and Diamond Culinary Nuts. Its competitors include Snyder's Lance that recently snapped up Snack Factory to strengthen its premium snacks presence and The Hershey Company.

Its current financial status – deficient and delinquent – is set to be rectified soon, the company said.

“Diamond intends to file all of its late SEC filings as promptly as practicable, including its 2012 annual report,” it said.

Although, results will not be released until it has completed its financial restatement, it added.

“Diamond also intends to circulate proxy materials for its annual meeting of shareholders, and to hold that meeting, as soon as possible after filing those periodic reports with the SEC,” it continued.

The root of the problem

The company’s problem meeting the initial June deadline stems from improper accounting, revealed in Diamond’s walnut business last year. Following a three-month investigation where an audit committee found $80m of payments to growers were unaccounted for, the firm removed its CEO Michael Mendes and CFO Steven Neil.

Diamond’s accounting scandal was also cited as the reason for the collapse of its $2.35bn bid for Pringles, snapped up by The Kellogg Company instead. If the acquisition had gone through, Diamond would have been the second largest snack food company in the world.

Investor attractions

Despite its missed listing deadlines and accounting scandal, Diamond Foods has continued to generate investor interest. On September 27 Litespeed Management  announced a 25% increase in its stake of the snack food firm.