Luckin Coffee Inc. a Chinese coffee company and a major Starbucks challenger in China released a statement today, saying that “The Special Committee today brought to the attention of the Board information indicating that, beginning in the second quarter of 2019, Mr. Jian Liu, the chief operating officer and a director of the Company, and several employees reporting to him, had engaged in certain misconduct, including fabricating certain transactions”
In the statement Luckin Coffee noted that the fabricated transactions amounted to around RMB2.2 billion, which is around $310,000,000.
Below is the statement in entirety.
BEIJING, China, April 2, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Luckin Coffee Inc. (“Luckin Coffee” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: LK) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) has formed a special committee (the “Special Committee”) to oversee an internal investigation into certain issues raised to the Board’s attention during the audit of the consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 (the “Internal Investigation”).
The Special Committee is comprised of three independent directors of the Board, Mr. Sean Shao, Mr. Tianruo Pu and Mr. Wai Yuen Chong, with Mr. Shao serving as its chairman. The Special Committee has retained independent advisors, including independent legal advisors and forensic accountants, in connection with the Internal Investigation. The Special Committee has retained Kirkland & Ellis as its independent outside counsel. Kirkland & Ellis is assisted by FTI Consulting as an independent forensic accounting expert. The Internal Investigation is at a preliminary stage.
The Special Committee today brought to the attention of the Board information indicating that, beginning in the second quarter of 2019, Mr. Jian Liu, the chief operating officer and a director of the Company, and several employees reporting to him, had engaged in certain misconduct, including fabricating certain transactions. The Special Committee recommended certain interim remedial measures, including the suspension of Mr. Jian Liu and such employees implicated in the misconduct and the suspension and termination of contracts and dealings with the parties involved in the identified fabricated transactions. The Board accepted the Special Committee’s recommendations and implemented them with respect to the currently identified individuals and parties involved in the fabricated transactions. The Company will take all appropriate actions, including legal actions, against the individuals responsible for the misconduct.
The information identified at this preliminary stage of the Internal Investigation indicates that the aggregate sales amount associated with the fabricated transactions from the second quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2019 amount to around RMB2.2 billion. Certain costs and expenses were also substantially inflated by fabricated transactions during this period. The above figure has not been independently verified by the Special Committee, its advisors or the Company’s independent auditor, and is subject to change as the Internal Investigation proceeds. The Company is assessing the overall financial impact of the misconduct on its financial statements. As a result, investors should no longer rely upon the Company’s previous financial statements and earning releases for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and the two quarters starting April 1, 2019 and ended September 30, 2019, including the prior guidance on net revenues from products for the fourth quarter of 2019, and other communications relating to these consolidated financial statements. The investigation is ongoing and the Company will continue to assess its previously published financials and other potential adjustments.
Luckin Coffee will release additional information concerning the Internal Investigation in due course and is committed to taking appropriate measures to improve its internal controls.