Ariba

(ARBA)

, a maker of e-commerce software, said Wednesday that it will restate its financial results dating back to fiscal 2000, in order to reflect an accounting probe involving a payment between two of the firm's top executives.

The company's shares tumbled 28 cents, or 8%, to $3.22 on the news. In 2002, the stock lost nearly 60% of its value.

At issue is a $10 million personal payment made by Keith Krach, the company's chairman and chief executive, in March 2001 to Larry Mueller, who was president and chief operating officer at the time, one month prior to his promotion to CEO. Since no company funds were used and there was no commitment from Ariba, the company initially viewed the payment as a personal transaction. But the company's audit committee later determined that the payment should have been accounted for as an investment in the company and subsequent compensation payout.

The company also said that chartered air travel accommodations totaling $1.2 million provided personally by Krach to Mueller should be treated as a capital contribution and a compensatory payment. Ariba also concluded that certain stock options issued to a limited number of employees from companies Ariba acquired should be accounted for as stock-based compensation, rather than amortized as goodwill.

The adjustments related to the stock options will be $7.5 million, a change that will be reflected in revised financial statements, the company said. The company maintains that none of these adjustments will have an impact on its cash balances or net cash flows for any period.

In light of its findings, Ariba delayed filing its annual 10-K report until late February, a move that could result in its shares being delisted from the Nasdaq. Ariba expects to receive notice from the Nasdaq that it is subject to delisting for failing to file in a timely fashion. The company plans to request a hearing before a Nasdaq review board in hopes of staving off such a determination.