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14-341MR ASIC investigation prompts NuSep into enforceable undertaking
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from biotech company NuSep Holdings Limited following concerns over its corporate governance, including potential breaches of continuous disclosure laws.
ASIC’s investigation, which looked at the group’s conduct between 2009 and 2012, also led to concerns about NuSep releasing inaccurate information to the market and acquiring shares in itself by issuing and holding shares in a suspense account.
ASIC also has concerns over NuSep’s standards of record keeping and the issuing of bonuses to former executives.
Nusep acknowledged ASIC’s concerns and has been assisting ASIC in its investigation. Nusep has already adopted some new corporate governance practices.
Under the EU, NuSep must appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with continuous disclosure and corporate governance procedures, and develop a plan to rectify any deficiencies identified by the expert. The independent expert will report regularly to ASIC over the next two years on NuSep’s implementation of the plan, and ASIC may publish the results of the reports.
NuSep must also adopt and publish an executive remuneration policy consistent with ASX Corporate Governance Principles.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘This outcome should send a clear message to all companies: big or small, you cannot escape from complying with the law.
‘ASIC, the market and the public expect companies to display good corporate governance. Where those standards fall short, ASIC will act.’
ASIC’s investigation is continuing.