Adler says it will remain shut out of financial markets until audit completed

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FRANKFURT – German landlord Adler will remain shut out of banking and capital markets until its financial statements have been audited, the company said on Monday after its board of directors resigned amid an accounting investigation.

Short seller Fraser Perring’s Viceroy Research said in October that Adler’s balance sheet had been artificially inflated, prompting German financial watchdog BaFin to examine the company’s financial reports.

Adler, one of Germany’s biggest real estate companies, rejected Viceroy’s allegations and appointed auditors CBRE and KPMG to carry out an investigation.

However, Adler said in March that KPMG did not have enough evidence to disprove all of the claims made against the company and the auditor had declined to give an opinion on its 2021 report.

Adler also aims to get an audit for 2022, Chairman Stefan Kirsten told a news conference on Monday following the board’s resignation on Saturday.

“We will, of course, deal with the issue. That is the duty of the board. But I don’t see anything there at the moment that I can comment on,” he said.

Kirsten also said that Adler has around 0.5 billion euros ($526.20 million) in cash and cash equivalents, was still legally able to pay dividends and would decide on the 2021 payout to shareholders in mid-May.

“We have no worries at this point,” the chairman said.

($1 = 0.9502 euros)

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska, Editing by Miranda Murray, Kirsten Donovan)