CBJ Morning Buzz: Sealed Air dumps audit firm amid investigations

The Wall Street Journal reports Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE) has dumped Ernst & Young as its independent auditor. The decision comes amid ongoing federal investigations into Sealed Air’s financial practices and the process by which it selected its auditor, though WSJ notes neither the Charlotte-based manufacturer nor EY have found any independence violation.

Sealed Air cited the investigations and the selection process when it disclosed in June that it had fired Chief Financial Officer Bill Stiehl “for cause” — a point that his attorney, Josh Van Kampen of Van Kampen Law in Charlotte, disputes.

“Sealed Air’s acknowledgement that it has not found an independence violation is powerful evidence that it did not have ‘cause’ to fire Mr. Stiehl,” wrote Van Kampen in an email to CBJ, noting plans to contest the former CFO’s termination.

The company may also face lawsuits over shareholder losses stemming from the controversy.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has replaced EY as Sealed Air’s independent auditor.

Sealed Air Corp Dumped Audit Firm Ernst & Young

By Jen Wilson – Associate Editor, Charlotte Business Journal