UPDATE 2-SunEdison audit panel identifies cash accounting issues

Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:55am EDT
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* Cash forecasts were overly optimistic, panel finds

* SunEdison lacked controls in managing cash flows

* Shares up 43 percent at 53 cents premarket (Adds details, background, analyst's comment)

April 14 (Reuters) - SunEdison Inc said an independent audit committee had identified several issues with the company's cash-flow management but found no "material misstatements" in its historical financial reports.

SunEdison, which has more than $12 billion in debt, is widely expected to file for bankruptcy this week.

Shares of the company, which has delayed filing its 2015 annual report twice, rose 43 percent to 53 cents in premarket trading on Thursday.

The committee said in a regulatory filing that management's assumptions about the company's cash forecasts were overly optimistic and it did not respond appropriately when forecasts were not met.

"These accounting issues are a side issue ... SunEdison's fundamental problem is the excessive leverage, which is why there is a high likelihood of bankruptcy within weeks," Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said.

SunEdison was until recently the fastest growing renewable energy developer in the United States but now faces a severe cash crunch.   Continued...