Insider trading alleged over collapse of Sam’s Seafoods

Posted by James Ferre on 12th October 2009

The collapse of Queensland food icon Sam’s Seafoods has been brought back into the spotlight with charges laid against a NSW businessman for alleged insider trading.

Charges laid

Noel Stephenson of Pymble, New South Wales, appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 6 October 2009 on an insider trading charge brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC alleges that on 26 April 2005, Mr Stephenson breached the Corporations Act 2001 when he disposed of 4,514 shares in Sam’s Seafoods Holdings Limited.

It is further claimed that, when Mr Stephenson disposed of the shares, he was aware that the lender to Sam’s Seafoods, Rabobank was considering demanding the repayment of several loan facilities that had been made to Sam’s Seafoods.

On 28 April 2005, Sam’s Seafoods released an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) concerning a profit downgrade and a delay in its joint venture with China. Sam’s Seafoods, which had annual turnover of $70 million, was subsequently placed in administration from May 2005 to September 2007.

Mr Stephenson was bailed to appear again on 17 November 2009.