Panel Censures Breach of Confidentiality in Relation to Namakwa Diamond Company Application [27/04/2001] The Takeovers Panel

Friday, 27 April 2001

Panel Censures Breach of Confidentiality in Relation to Namakwa Diamond Company Application

The Corporations and Securities Panel today strongly censured the apparent leakage of confidential documents to the media in relation to its proceedings in Majestic Resources' (Majestic) off market takeover bid for the ordinary shares in Namakwa Diamond Company (Namakwa).

The article in today's Australian Financial Review, titled "The Prospectus that Hijacked Namakwa" contained material from confidential submissions to the Panel.

The President of the Panel, Mr Simon McKeon, said that he was very disappointed that parties who had signed confidentiality undertakings to the Panel had apparently chosen to reject the spirit and letter of the Panel's proceedings.

The Panel is currently undertaking enquiries to determine whether the source can be identified.

The sitting President of the Namakwa Panel, Mrs Nerolie Withnall, said that the Panel directly and specifically required parties to sign confidentiality undertakings because that was the fastest way of achieving resolution of disputes and getting takeovers back to shareholders where the decision on whether a takeover succeeds should properly be made. She said that this sort of behaviour is a potential threat to the effectiveness of the Panel's informal, commercial and expeditious approach. She quoted the words of the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, the Hon Joe Hockey who said:

"The Panel will be a test of the goodwill of the business community in Australia in taking some responsibility for its own actions"

Mrs Withnall said that in this case, at least one member of the business community had clearly failed their personal test.

Nigel Morris
Corporations and Securities Panel
Level 47 Nauru House,
80 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501
nigel.morris@takeovers.gov.au