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Accell says employee at its Taiwan office stole up to $4.4M

Published January 27, 2016

HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands (BRAIN) — Accell Group says an employee in its Taiwan office may have stolen as much as 4 million euros ($4.4 million) from the company by withdrawing money from the company's bank account. Accell said the incident has been reported to authorities and that it is tightening its internal control systems.

"The theft is obviously a disappointment to us," said René Takens, the CEO of Accell Group. "Preliminary investigations indicate that this is an isolated incident, which will not affect the company's operational profitability. At the same time, it does indicate we need to strengthen our control systems even further."

Takens said the financial impact of the theft depends on whether the company can recover any of the money from the employee. The company's results in the second half of 2015 remains in line with projections because sales and profits were higher than expected, more than making up for the cost of the theft.

"Our current insights into the figures indicate that we realised solid growth in both turnover and profit in 2015. This was largely due to the continued rise in the sales of electric sports bikes (e-MTBs) in various European countries.

The company said the theft "surfaced partly due to a constant tightening of the internal controls," but said it will work to further tighten its policies in coming months.

Accell Group operates Accell North America, and owns the Raleigh, Diamondback, Lapierre, Ghost, Haibike and Redline brands, which are all sold in the U.S. and Canada. It also owns Batavus (Netherlands), Sparta (Netherlands), Koga (Netherlands), Loekie (Netherlands), Winora (Germany),  Tunturi (Finland), Atala (Italy), and XLC (international). 

The group is due to publish its annual results on Feb. 26.

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