TORONTO, CANADA – November 15, 2011 - Sino-Forest Corporation (“Sino-Forest” or the “Company”) (TSX:TRE) today announced the findings of the Independent Committee of the Company‟s Board of Directors (the “IC”). Sino-Forest also today announced that it is deferring the release of its third quarter financial 2011 results (“Q3 Results").
All references to $ amounts contained in this press release are to United States Dollars. Mr. Judson Martin, Vice-Chair and CEO of the Company stated “This has been an intense and challenging process and I am pleased that the Independent Committee has been able to refute the substance of the allegations made in the Muddy Waters report.
“The Independent Committee report verifies the Company‟s stated cash balances, confirms registered title or contractual rights to the Company‟s stated timber assets, as well as the book value of these assets, reconciles reported total revenue and refutes the allegation that Yuda Wood is a subsidiary of the Company. We can categorically say Sino-Forest is not the “near total fraud” and “Ponzi scheme” as alleged by Muddy Waters."
“The Independent Committee and Audit Committee are verifying information regarding certain of the Company‟s relationships with its suppliers and Authorized Intermediaries and addressing other issues that must be resolved before the Q3 Results can be released. We are confident this work will be carried out quickly and our current plan is to release our Q3 Results within the next 30 days.
As the Independent Committee report notes, its work is substantially complete. We look forward to the Independent Committee‟s final report which we expect to be released prior to year-end."
“While the investigation has been difficult, we have also learned much through this process, including a better understanding of the way we need to communicate the operational and regulatory complexities of operating in our industry in China in order to give confidence to our international investor community. We also found that the Company‟s internal processes, infrastructure and breadth of management team have not kept pace with the growth of its operations.
"These shortcomings will be addressed: we have a plan to improve our governance and processes going forward, and we plan - 2 - to add further qualified staff. We are also exploring ways to simplify our business structure, which we believe will provide greater comfort to our investors."
“To say that this has been a tough time for our employees, investors and our Company as a whole would be a huge understatement. A great deal of financial and reputational damage has been caused by unfounded accusations made by a short-seller, who we understand personally profited a great deal from the losses of others. Far from being a "near total fraud" and "Ponzi scheme" as alleged by Muddy Waters, Sino-Forest is a real company, with real assets and real revenue.
We are reserving our rights to respond to this matter.”
Source: Sino Forest
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