New Zealand Government Probing Fuji Xerox Accounting Irregularities

New Zealand government officials are reportedly probing Fuji Xerox New Zealand practices that reportedly include “massive salaries, made-up sales, and nepotism.” The New Zealand news site Stuff Business Day reports that the New Zealand Commerce Commission is said to be forcing the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to hand over documents that include information concerning Fuji Xerox: “The competition regulator has taken the rare of step of issuing the ministry with a’ Section 98′ order compelling it to release documents, but said neither the ministry nor Fuji Xerox were under investigation.”

Fuji Xerox is a joint venture between Xerox and Fujifilm Holdings.

Fuji Xerox has also been “voluntarily suspended” from competing for New Zealand government business after an accounting scandal involving its New Zealand and Australian subsidiaries that resulted in the Japan-based Fuji Xerox to overstate its revenues by about $473 million.

A New Zealand Commerce Commission spokeswoman said the commission issued the Section 98 order because Fuji Xerox’s suspension was “potentially relevant” to an investigation it was carrying out into a proposed merger between rival office-products firms Staples and OfficeMax, which are said to  making their second attempt to combine (last week, however, private-equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired Staples – see article here).

Last month, ProPrint reported that  Fuji Xerox president and its Asia-Pacific president recently apologized to the company’s 400 Australian staff for the “sales at any cost” culture detailed in a report of Fuji Xerox New Zealand and Australia, as well as “massive accounting irregularities revealed to have taken place under Neil Whittaker’s time as CEO in Australia and New Zealand, and the subsequent damage to the company’s morale and reputation.”

Tadahito Yamamoto, chairman of Fuji Xerox, resigned in the wake of the accounting scandal in July. Isamu Sekine, president and chief executive of Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, is now heading the New Zealand branch of Fuji Xerox until a successor is appointed.

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