Business

Poor Disclosure Practices At Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR)?

According to investigative website Probes Reporter, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has not been completely honest with its shareholders. Based on Probe Reporter’s research, Keurig’s recent brush with the SEC was a lot bigger deal than the company admitted. Moreover, at least one seemingly obvious disclosure failure happened under the watch of new CEO Brian P. Kelley.

Keurig Green Mountain GMCR

More on questionable disclosure practices of Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Probes Reporter has been investigating the company for almost five years now, and a report published on June 25th notes that: “information recently received from the SEC tells us the now-closed 4-year SEC probe of the then-Green Mountain Coffee was much bigger than the company let on and, to our great surprise, saw the auditor named in a separate matter.”

Furthermore, PR notes the fact that the SEC had ramped up their investigation was not disclosed by the firm, and was “routinely side-stepped by its spokespeople. Analyst supporters were happy to go along. A separate investigation of PricewaterhouseCoopers was never disclosed and remained unknown to investors until today. PricewaterhouseCoopers is still GMCR’s auditor.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers remains Keurig’s auditor despite SEC investigation

One major question that remains unanswered here is why PricewaterhouseCoopers is still the firm’s auditor.  Obviously, auditors do get “swept up” in investigations of their clients on a regular basis. But as the PR report highlights, it’s quite rare to see a firm’s auditor specifically named in a parallel investigation to the audit client.

For the sake of propriety or at least starting with a clean slate, Kelley and the board obviously should have shown PricewaterhouseCoopers to the door asap, but did not.

SEC complicit in cover up

Probes Reporter also slams the SEC for its role in aiding and abetting GMCR’s coverup in this matter. They note the regulator has refused to release the Case Closing Recommendations related to the two SEC investigations cited above. Public access to the Case Closing Recommendations would finally allow investors to learn why these investigations were opened and what conclusions were reached. The conclusion of the report facetiously suggests that GMCR CEO “Kelley should send the SEC flowers or something.”

See full report below.

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