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Epicentre names Ernst & Young as special auditor

CATALIST-LISTED Epicentre Holdings, which is facing a judicial management hearing next month as creditors emerge, named Ernst & Young Advisory as its special auditor on Tuesday, as the independent directors stepped up their review of past transactions.

The former Apple reseller, which told the bourse on July 25 that it would probe certain corporate events and transactions, has now said that it appointed Ernst & Young Advisory on Monday to probe issues that involve its allegedly uncontactable chairman and acting chief executive officer.

The purported disappearance of chairman Lim Tiong Hian, also known as Kenneth Lim - whom the board has moved to fire - is one of six matters that Epicentre specified for the special auditor to report on.

Ernst & Young Advisory - which will report exclusively to bourse regulator Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) - is empowered to carry out digital forensic procedures on electronic data storage devices such as computers, servers and mobile phones.

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It also has the authority to take and assess “all relevant information and documents” from Epicentre, according to the announcement.

Other matters flagged for review include the circumstances and nature of loans that were entered into in the group’s name, “including but not limited to amounts due to (or) from” Mr Lim, as well as any loans that are of interest to SGX RegCo or Epicentre’s audit committee.

On top of that, Ernst & Young Advisory has been tasked with analysing the company’s cash flow and looking into the sale of subsidiary Epicentre Pte Ltd, a proposed share placement, and other issues - including whatever crops up “which might be of interest to the SGX RegCo”.

“The company will be making further announcements on the key findings of the special auditor and will update the shareholders further where there are material developments on this matter,” the board said in its latest announcement.

Trading in Epicentre’s shares has been suspended since May 30.