Canada’s Nova stresses disclosure, corporate governance

24 July 2002 21:58  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (CNI)--Canada's Nova Chemicals pledged Thursday that it will adhere to the most demanding disclosure guidelines, whether US or Canadian, to secure investor and industry trust.

Nova Chemicals’ president and chief executive officer, Jeff Lipton, told analysts here today during the company’s second quarter results briefing: "Nova will continue to lead our industry in terms of full and open disclosure." Lipton said he was referring to the ongoing accounting and corporate governance crisis in North America which has raised calls for more disclosure and stricter regulation.

Although Nova's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Canadian firm is a so-called "foreign private issuer" in the US. As such, Lipton noted, the company must comply only with Canadian guidelines and need not conform to NYSE or US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines.

However, Lipton said, "We commit now to conform to whichever of the disclosure guidelines are the more demanding, whether they be US guidelines, or Canadian guidelines … which are also under review."

Lipton said that full disclosure and integrity have helped Nova to quickly establish and maintain investors’ trust since starting up as an independent company in July 1998, and, in particular, to quickly increase the number of its US investors. An estimated 35% of Nova’s shares are now in the hands of US investors, up from less than 10% in 2000, Lipton said.

He remarked: "It’s very disappointing to learn about less than honourable behaviour of some chief executives and other corporate leaders. This has obviously shaken the faith … and has destroyed very large amounts of value."

Nova is based in Calgary, Alberta.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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