Swiss exchange launches Clariant investigation over Huntsman disclosures

11 January 2018 10:43 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Switzerland’s key stock exchange has opened an investigation into a potential breach of disclosure requirements by chemical producer Clariant in relation to its failed merger with US-based Huntsman, the bourse said on Thursday.

The investigation is centred on a press release issued by the Switzerland-headquartered producer on 22 May 2017 announcing plans to combine operations with Huntsman.

“Investigatory proceedings will continue for an indefinite period,” the regulatory division of the exchange said.

Clariant denied the allegations. In an emailed statement, the company said to ICIS that it had made the move to involve majority state-owned broadcaster Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) ahead of the announcement of the deal.

The complexity of the agreement with Huntsman and the need to present background to the Swiss public drove the decision to involve SRF, which was provided with some details of the merger ahead of the announcement.

Clariant’s arrangement with SRF included a confidentiality agreement and the obligation to only air the report after the merger had been publicly disclosed, the company said.

“From Clariant's point of view, the ad hoc publicity requirements for the contact between Clariant and the SRF were fully respected,” the company said.

The planned merger fell apart later in 2017 due to pressure from activist Clariant shareholder White Tale.

By Tom Brown