Court hears of complex web of companies as former Bellamy manager Jan Cameron faces Hobart court
Former Bellamy director Jan Cameron used a complex web of companies to quietly control a 14.74% stake in the infant formula giant, the Hobart Magistrates’ Court has learned.
- Former Bellamy manager Jan Cameron faces two criminal charges from ASIC
- Prosecution alleges Kathmandu founder engaged in “stockpiling”
- Ms Cameron has pleaded not guilty to both counts
Ms Cameron, the millionaire businesswoman who also founded Kathmandu, appeared in court for the first day of her hearing into the criminal charges brought by the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).
Ms Cameron is accused of failing to disclose information regarding a substantial stake in a company, which allegedly took place in 2014, and of allegedly making a false or misleading statement in a document filed with ASIC in 2017.
Hundreds of documents were handed over to court on Tuesday morning, with five witnesses to be called in for the prosecution during the hearing.
Securities watchdog alleges that in 2014 Ms Cameron failed to disclose her associates’ holdings of 14 million ASX-listed Bellamy’s shares through a known entity under the name of Black Prince Private Foundation.
The prosecution told the court Ms Cameron had engaged in a “stockpiling” or held a stake in a company through entities or other arrangements without their name being directly linked to the holding. .
The prosecution argued that the information should be disclosed to the relevant listed company, in this case Bellamy’s, and to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) when a person or his partner begins to own more than 5% of the shares. of the society.
The court heard that Bellamy’s was listed on ASX on August 1, 2014, and that the Black Prince Private Foundation was its largest shareholder, with 14.74% of the company.
Despite the rules that substantial holdings must be disclosed within two business days, ASIC alleges that Ms. Cameron made no such disclosure.
The prosecution told the court that before the company was listed, Ms Cameron decided to step down as a director of Bellamy’s – then known as Tasmanian Pure Foods – and sell her stake.
The court heard from Ms Cameron’s entity, Bicheno Investments, and then provided $ 23 million of the proceeds of the sale to a Malaysian-based company – LENGKAP – and that LENGKAP was subsequently controlled by Ms Cameron.
LENGKAP then allegedly gave $ 14 million to the Black Prince Private Foundation to acquire 14 million shares of Bellamy – or 14.74% of the company, which was also to act on instructions from LENGKAP – the company which would be controlled by Ms. Cameron.
Prosecution alleges misleading statement made to ASIC
The second charge relates to a document filed with ASIC in February 2017, which ASIC said omitted relevant information about Ms Cameron’s interests in Bellamy’s and was therefore misleading.
The court heard that the document was filed against the backdrop of a decline in the company’s stock price and an extraordinary general meeting called by the largest shareholder – Black Prince Private Foundation – in which Ms Cameron allegedly attempted to ” get a seat on the board of directors.
Ms Cameron has long denied ties to the Black Prince Private Foundation.
The prosecution alleges Ms Cameron was aware of her connection to the Foundation and did not provide that information in the document.
Ms Cameron has pleaded not guilty to both counts and the hearing is scheduled to run until November.