Offshore support vessel provider Oceanteam might be facing delisting from Oslo Børs (Oslo Stock Exchange) following a reprimand over violation of duties to disclose inside information to the market.
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the Oslo Stock Exchange resolved to impose a violation charge on Oceanteam of NOK 1,315,300 ($167,000) for breach of the duty to disclose inside information to the market and other continuing obligations for stock exchange listed companies.
The Oslo Stock Exchange’s resolution states that a violation charge is imposed on Oceanteam for material breaches of the continuing obligations and the duty to immediately disclose inside information to the market in an amount of seven times the annual listing fee, i.e. NOK 1 315 300.
The resolution may be appealed to the Stock Exchange Appeals Committee but any appeal must be submitted within two weeks.
According to the stock exchange, Oceanteam did not publicly disclose inside information about the resignation by the company’s auditor in November 2017 sufficiently promptly. Stock exchange listed companies are subject to a duty of disclosure that requires them to publicly disclose without delay and on their own initiative inside information that concerns the company directly.
To remind, Oceanteam last November suspended KPMG’s services, the company’s auditor in Norway. The decision was made based on Oceanteam’s investigative findings regarding audit costs that were charged for work not performed.
The company also launched an additional investigation by an independent expert for the fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 to re-evaluate the services and charges made by the auditing company. Following the suspension, KPMG that same month withdrew its services as statutory auditor in Norway with immediate effect, prompting Oceanteam to dispute the validity of such resignation.
In addition, according to the stock exchange, the company did not have an audit committee over a long period of time as required by the stock exchange regulations. The company has also violated section 3.2 (1) no. 8 by not publicly disclosing information about the suspension of the interim CFO in July 2017 immediately.
Furthermore, the company has violated the duty to provide requested information to the Oslo Stock Exchange within the deadlines set by the exchange, on several occasions.
The question of listing
The Oslo Stock Exchange has also made an assessment as to whether the company is suitable for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange due to these violations, as well as a number of other matters which the exchange is critical of.
These matters relates to, among others, handling of information and disclosure of information to the market. After an overall assessment, the Oslo Stock Exchange has concluded not to delist the company’s financial instruments from trading.
The exchange has placed emphasis on the interests of the company’s shareholders and bondholders in a continued listing of the company. The exchange has however emphasized that if the company does not take sufficient measures to improve its routines, competence and disclosures to the market to avoid further breaches of the rules applicable to stock exchange listed companies, a new suitability assessment by the exchange could lead to a delisting of the company’s financial instruments.
In addition, earlier this month, an investigation was launched into the company following a request by its shareholders.
Offshore Energy Today Staff