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Drabinsky Rebuts Probe Livent Co-founder Objects to Alleged Financial Irregularities

(BPI) TORONTO‹Embattled Livent co-founder Garth Drabinsky set out his objections on Monday to a KPMG forensic report into alleged financial irregularities at the live-theatre company.

Lawyers for Drabinsky submitted their objections to Justice John Ground of the Ontario Court's General Division, who will decide in private whether certain sections of the KPMG report ought to be removed before the report is handed to Livent's current owners, led by former superagent Michael Ovitz.

David Weiner, a spokesman for Drabinsky, said the KPMG document remained a sealed court document, so he could not outline Drabinsky's objections.

But, he added, "Mr. Drabinsky intends to raise a number of concerns and issues with Mr. Justice Ground, the nature of which must remain confidential."

KPMG served as Drabinsky's personal tax adviser for 15 years before the Livent co-founder was deposed in August as chairman and CEO, and accused of serious accounting irregularities by Livent's new CEO, Roy Furman and his management team.

Livent's new owners also at the time hired forensic accountants at KPMG to investigate Livent's finances, and to submit a full report.

Livent and Drabinsky now face a number of class-action lawsuits over the allegations of improper accounting, and Drabinsky has brought his own legal action against KPMG and KPMG Investigations & Security Inc., alleging a conflict of interest in their investigations of Livent on behalf of Furman and the company's new owners.

The Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Exchange also slapped temporary cease-trade orders on Livent shares in September, as the company's financial books are probed.

A spokesman for Livent in New York City also declined comment Monday on Drabinsky's latest legal moves.

Etan Vlessing writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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