The Securities Commission has decided to file civil proceedings against Nuplex Industries Limited (Nuplex) and certain current and former directors.
The directors involved are John Hirst (Managing Director, Sydney), Robert Aitken (Chairman and non-executive director, Sydney), Barbara Gibson (non-executive director, Melbourne), David Jackson (non-executive director, Auckland), Bryan Kensington (former non-executive director, Auckland) and Michael Wynter (non-executive director, Sydney).
The Commission is seeking declarations of contravention, pecuniary penalties (maximum penalty of up to $1 million per defendant) and compensatory orders.
"The Commission alleges that from 22 December 2008 until 19 February 2009 Nuplex breached its continuous disclosure obligations under the NZX Listing Rules and the Securities Markets Act 1988 by failing to disclose to the market a breach of a banking covenant, and that both Nuplex and the directors are responsible for this failure," Commission Chairman Jane Diplock says.
This is the first continuous disclosure case brought by the Commission.
The Commission will lodge a statement of claim with the High Court in Wellington on Wednesday morning (14 April 2010).
Nuplex is listed on both the NZX and the ASX.
This matter came to the Commission's attention through its own market surveillance. The Commission acknowledges NZX provided information regarding an initial price enquiry.
The Commission will not comment further on this matter at this time.
Contact: Roger Marwick 04 471 7659