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L&H told where to stick its bankruptcy protection request

Belgian court demands more financial info

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A Belgian court today told Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV it cannot have bankruptcy protection.

It said the speech technology outfit's application wasn't up to scratch as it had failed to submit full audited data, plus its restructuring proposal was insufficient.

L&H also applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in November to give it time to claw its way back into the black.

The move came after execs discovered around $100 million was missing from its Korean subsidiary. The latest scandal saw founder Pol Hauspie quit after the company revealed it would have to revise the past two and a half years of its books due to accounting irregularities. The company is also under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

L&H is now allowed to submit a new request for bankruptcy protection in Belgium, but will need full audited figures and a worthy rescue plan.

Alternatively, L&H could admit insolvency and the company would be liquidated. ®

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