Breakingviews

P&G deal partner probe proves shorts aren’t nuts

November 3, 2011

Skeptical investors piled into Diamond Foods, agreed buyer of the consumer giant’s Pringles brand, doggedly questioning the firm’s accounting. Further scrutiny uncovered more oddities and led Diamond to investigate. The sound response underscores the value of salty market views.

P&G may need to pop a plan B for Pringles

November 29, 2011

Diamond Foods, agreed buyer of the consumer giant’s chips brand, keeps losing sparkle. Buried news about its internal audit investigation, rising payments to walnut-growing directors and other inconsistencies don’t seem to augur well for the probe - or P&G’s deal.

P&G didn’t crunch its Pringles partner adequately

December 15, 2011

Troubles have escalated for Diamond Foods, the agreed buyer of the chips brand, with the SEC now probing its accounting. The scale of issues being targeted suggests the consumer giant missed early warning signs. An obsession with taxes may have clouded P&G’s vision.

Diamond Foods crashes after running before walking

February 9, 2012

The nuts and snacks firm came clean about $80 mln worth of bad accounting and replaced its CEO and CFO. Shares tanked and its deal to buy Pringles looks all but dead. It’s a warning about going aggressively from private and small to public and big. There are more lessons, too.

Kellogg rescues P&G from over-cleverness

February 15, 2012

The maker of Corn Flakes and Froot Loops is paying $2.7 bln for Pringles, the snacks business that P&G hoped to sell to Diamond Foods in a complex tax-minimizing deal. Kellogg can justify a premium, while P&G will net less after tax. But the consumer giant gets a valuable lesson.

Deloitte caught in Diamond Foods’ glare

February 21, 2012

Just a few months ago, the snack food firm’s auditor was publicly shamed by its U.S. regulator for past failings. Diamond’s misstated payments to nut growers call into question other facets of the company’s books. Deloitte could be headed back into the accounting hot seat.