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ASX company busted hiding info on $345m sell-offs

Resources company announced massive deals but failed to mention a few important details.
The post ASX company busted hiding info on $345m sell-offs appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX shares to avoid

An ASX-listed company has been busted for failing to disclose to the market information regarding two deals worth more than $345 million.

Antares Energy (now known as Blue Star Helium Ltd (ASX: BNL)) in September 2015 made announcements on the sale of two assets for US$105 million and US$149 million.

The Federal Court on Friday found that the company breached the Corporations Act by omitting crucial details that the market should have known.

This information included:

  • Wade Energy was the purchaser
  • Antares hadn’t independently verified the capacity of Wade Energy to complete the purchases
  • Wade Energy had told Antares that it hadn’t yet received all funding approval to complete the purchase of one of the assets

Former Antares director James Cruickshank was also found to have failed in “his duty as a director to act with the degree of care and diligence required” for allowing the company to breach.

A separate accusation that Cruickshank was “involved in” the breach was not upheld by the court.

Penalties for Blue Star and Cruickshank will be determined at a later hearing.

“The judgment in this case reinforces the importance of the continuous disclosure regime to maintaining the integrity of the Australian securities market,” Australian Securities and Investments Commission deputy chair Daniel Crennan QC.

“The omissions from the company’s announcements to the market in this case were clearly material and therefore an appropriate subject for this civil penalty action by ASIC.”

Justice Katrina Frances Banks-Smith said the point of the disclosure obligations was to provide the market with confidence.

“The object is to enhance the integrity and efficiency of capital markets by requiring timely disclosure of price or market sensitive information.”

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post ASX company busted hiding info on $345m sell-offs appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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