Oceana confirms FSCA investigation

To determine whether any person may have published false, misleading or deceptive statements, promises and forecasts regarding the past or future performance of the company.
The company that owns the Lucky Star tinned fish brand risks being suspended by the JSE due to delays in publishing its financial results. Image: Supplied

Embattled JSE-listed fishing group Oceana confirmed after market close on Wednesday that financial watchdog the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has launched an investigation into the group’s affairs.

“The company was informed by the FSCA on 21 February 2022 that the FSCA has registered an investigation to determine whether any person may have published false, misleading or deceptive statements, promises and forecasts regarding the past or future performance of the company, or its securities,” the group said in a Sens statement.

“The company has not yet been advised of the details of such investigation but will cooperate fully with the FSCA,” Oceana added.

Confirmation of the FSCA investigation follows the group delaying publication of its latest financial results (ending September 30, 2021) several times, due to Oceana having to get forensic investigations undertaken into largely its United States fishing interests.

It also comes just a week after the group’s CEO Imraan Soomra resigned and in the same month that its CFO Hajra Karrim was placed on a “precautionary” suspension.

Read:
Oceana CEO Imraan Soomra resigns with immediate effect
A conflict of interest and possible corruption

Oceana – which has a history going back more than 100 years (it was established in 1918) and owns the well-known tinned fish brand Lucky Star – risks being suspended by the JSE due to the delay in publishing its financial results.

However, it has noted in several Sens statements that it has been “engaging” with the bourse regarding the issues resulting in the delays.

Following Soomra’s resignation, Oceana announced Neville Brink as its interim CEO.

In its Sens statement on Wednesday, the group noted that Brink has now also been appointed to Oceana’s board as an executive director, effective February 21.

It further announced the appointment of Ralph Buddle as interim CFO, following Karrim’s suspension.

“The appointment is subject to the outcome of the pending process pertaining to the current CFO. Mr Buddle is an experienced chartered accountant and previously served as a senior finance executive and director of business development and strategy at Woolworths Holdings Limited,” Oceana said.

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Nice to see some recognisable names back in the saddle….hopefully they can bring back some magic. Would be sad to see an established and trusted brand like Lucky Star go down the tubes after 100 years! Holding thumbs that this company does not go the way of EOH etc…. hopefully the rot has been stopped in time – perhaps the JSE should holt trading this share – sentiment and fear can drive value down unnecessarily.

End of comments.

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