6 April 2018Hot off the Press
Australian businessman Clive Palmer has been charged over a breach of the Corporations Act, the latest development in an ongoing Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.
ASIC detailed the charges in a statement earlier today, with the charges themselves revealed for the first time at a quick mention in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning. Mr Palmer was not in attendance.
The charges relate to the takeover of Timeshare villas at the Coolum resort, which Mr Palmer purchased in 2011.
Section 631 of the Corporations Act 2001 provides that a person commits an offence if they publicly propose to make a takeover bid for securities in a company, but do not make an offer for those securities within two months of the proposal.
ASIC maintains that Palmer Leisure Coolum — Mr Palmer’s company — breached this section by failing to follow through on a takeover bid made in 2012 for the company operating the Timeshare scheme at Coolum Resort, The President’s Club Ltd.
Mr Palmer faces charges under Section 11.2 of the Criminal Code 1994 for aiding the commission of that offence, as director of Palmer Leisure Coolum.
The charges for the offence carry a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and a $11,000 fine for Mr Palmer personally; Palmer Leisure Coolum could also be fined $55,000.
This is the latest development in the ongoing ASIC investigation against Mr Palmer, with speculation that criminal charges could be brought against him over the collapse of his nickel refinery in Townsville, Queensland Nickel, which went into administration in 2016 owing staff and creditors around $100 million.
Mr Palmer has hit back against ASIC, describing charges against him as being “brought on for political purposes” and vowing to fight them vigorously.
The matter has been listed to appear before the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on 13 June 2018.