ASIC Report 393 “Handling of confidential information: Briefings and unaccounted corporate transactions” comes in the wake of a series of very public incidents for ASX listed companies linked to the management of confidential information, the application of closed periods together with selective briefings. As recently as May 2014 it was reported that Treasury Wines Estates and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. were forced to disclose a takeover offer due to an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement. David Jones also faced an ASIC investigation after investors cried foul over director share purchases days before a better-than-expected quarterly sales update alongside further scrutiny on the non-disclosure of the Myer offer in October 2013. Newscrest Mining also self-commissioned a disclosure probe after reports of selective briefings being linked to a drastic share price fall.
Mertons has produced a reminder on the Do’s & Don’ts of Continuous Disclosure.