Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the troubled chain, has appointed two independent board members to co-chair a new special committee to investigate matters raised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In July the company said the SEC was conducting an informal inquiry into its franchise re-acquisitions and previously announced reduction in earnings guidance.

One of the new directors is Michael Sutton, chief accountant of the SEC from 1995 to 1998. Before that he was a senior partner at Deloitte Touche. The other, Lizanne Thomas, is a senior corporate partner in the Atlanta office of law firm Jones Day.

Krispy Kreme said the committee would also help investigate claims asserted in a shareholder action recently filed in US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina as well as issues raised by the company’s auditors.

Krispy Kreme said the addition of Mr Sutton and Ms Thomas increased its board to 11. It has nine independent directors.

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