Lamprell Plc, an oil-rig manufacturer, was fined 2.4 million pounds ($3.6 million) for not telling the market quickly enough about its faltering finances in early 2012.
Failures in Lamprell’s systems and controls caused it to omit negative information about its financial performance in statements to the market, the U.K. Financial Services Authority, which levied the fine, said in a statement today.
“Lamprell could not adequately monitor its financial performance against its budget and against market expectations and therefore failed in its obligations as a listed company to keep the market fully informed of its deteriorating financial position,” the regulator said.
When it made the situation clear to the market in May, Lamprell’s share price fell 57 percent, the FSA said.
The company’s controls were “seriously deficient for a listed company of its size and complexity,” said Tracey McDermott, the FSA’s head of enforcement.
The fine is the first under the FSA’s new penalty policy, based on a company’s market capitalization, which the regulator said will lead to “significantly higher penalties than in the past.” Lamprell fell 2.5 percent to 144 pence in London trading at 10:06 a.m.
Lamprell received the regulator’s standard 30 percent discount for settling early. The company “provided significant and extensive cooperation” with the FSA and didn’t act deliberately or recklessly in its failings, the company said in a separate statement.
It agreed to settle “to avoid incurring significant additional expenses and expending the further time that would be required to pursue the matter,” said John Kennedy, Lamprell’s non-executive chairman.