Diamond Foods Investigated, Stalls Pringles Buy

Fast-growing Diamond Foods Inc. has applied the brakes in a number of ways in the wake of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of its accounting practices. The San Francisco company delayed its acquisition of the Pringles business and said it would not file a Form 10-Q, which was due Dec. 12, for its fiscal first quarter.

The SEC is looking into “certain crop payments to walnut growers.” Diamond’s own audit committee anticipates being able to conclude its investigation by the middle of February. After that, it will file the company’s 10-Q.

Last April, Diamond announced a $2.35 billion deal to buy Pringles from Procter & Gamble. If concluded, Diamond claims it would become the world’s second-largest marketer of snack foods, behind PepsiCo.

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