Trading in Tongaat Hulett’s shares on the JSE and LSE has been suspended at the request of the company.
This is as a result of the previously announced delay in the publishing of the company’s financial statements and the continuing review into past financial practices and follows further discussions with the JSE and the company’s auditors, forensic investigative team, legal advisers and management, the company said on Monday.
The board is aiming to publish the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31 by the end of October, and to reinstate the listings at that point in time, or possibly, at an earlier date should sufficiently reliable information be available for release.
Concurrently, the company is continuing to formulate its ongoing strategic review and comprehensive turnaround strategy entailing, inter alia, cost reductions, possible sales of certain assets, restructuring of operations and improvements in operating performance.
Tongaat last month announced that it would have to restate its financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, as a strategic and financial review had revealed “past practices which are of significant concern”.
It explained that these practices appeared to have resulted in its financial statements for that year not reflecting the underlying business performance accurately.
Owing to the board’s concern that there is insufficient information in the market to enable investors to make informed decisions, the board voluntarily approached the JSE with a request for a suspension of the listing of the company’s securities.
The suspension is also expected to give the company’s management more time to support the completion of the forensic investigation and the restatements, to release the March 2019 financial statements and to seek the reinstatement of the listings, as soon as reasonably possible.
“This decision has not been taken lightly,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
“While the board is conscious that some shareholders or potential investors would prefer to retain the ability to buy and sell shares, the board believes the temporary suspension is in the best interests of shareholders as a whole.”Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online