Donnelley: Accounting Issue Won't Halt Moore Wallace Merger

R.R. Donnelley confirmed that its merger with Moore Wallace would proceed despite the suspension of Moore Wallace's chief financial officer over accounting practices.

R.R. Donnelley, Chicago, said it was monitoring the situation but continues to look forward to the merger's completion. Earlier in the day, Moore Wallace, Mississauga, Ontario, announced that executive vice president and CFO Mark Hiltwein accepted a suspension with pay after it was discovered that he provided a misdated document to an auditing firm investigating the printer's accounting practices.

The investigation, conducted by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers at the behest of Moore Wallace, was in response to an anonymous letter that detailed alleged “misuse of acquisition-related restructuring charges, together with vague assertions of other accounting actions,” according to the company.

During the investigation, the auditor asked Hiltwein for documents supporting restructuring charges, and Hiltwein had an accounting staffer submit a memo dated May 2003 when it actually was written last week, according to Moore Wallace. The accounting staffer, whose identity was not disclosed, also received a suspension with pay.

Moore Wallace said it was providing documents requested by the Securities and Exchange Commission and keeping R.R. Donnelley informed. The auditor found no evidence to support the anonymous letter and now is taking steps to confirm its conclusions, Moore Wallace said.

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