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JMP Securities Suspends Rating on ADVO

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

JMP Securities suspended its market perform rating on (ADVO) (AD), after news that Valassis Communications (VCI) is suing to rescind a $1.3 billion merger deal with ADVO based on fraud and material adverse changes.

The suit is alleging that ADVO management materially misrepresented the financial health of the company and failed to reveal internal control deficiencies.

Analyst Kevane Wong says ADVO claims that the charges are baseless and it intends to enforce the acquisition deal. Wong notes that although his research had not led him to believe there were issues of fraud at ADVO, he must acknowledge that Valassis Communications, which is likely to have been able to closely examine ADVO's operations as part of its acquisition process, has chosen to make these serious charges.

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