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Securities Commission suspends investigation into Perry Corp


Wednesday 21st August 2002

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The Securities Commission today confirmed it had suspended an investigation into Perry Corp's purchase of around 11 percent of Rubicon on July 11.

The commission said it had suspended its investigation into the United States hedge fund pending the outcome of a court case taken by Sir Ron Brierley's Guinness Peat Group (GPG).

Commission chairman Jane Diplock said that because GPG had obtained an interim injunction preventing Perry from selling its shares and was taking further legal action, the commission's investigation would "pause" until the court had made a decision.

Last week, GPG slapped a straitjacket on Perry with an interim court order restricting the company from selling its shares.

GPG had sought court orders that Perry's shares in Rubicon be forfeited because of alleged breaches of Stock Exchange rules for disclosing stakes in listed companies.

Perry Corp increased its Rubicon holding to 15.98 percent from 4.9 percent on July 11, a week after GPG bought 19.99 percent of the company.

That incensed GPG, which claimed it bought its stake "in ignorance of the fact that Perry Corp had a relevant interest in Rubicon".

GPG claims Perry Corp held a beneficial interest in more than 5 percent of Rubicon shares all along, despite filing a notice last year that it had reduced its holding.

The commission has written to GPG, which made a formal complaint to the commission, explaining its decision to suspend its investigation. It would not disclose the contents of its letter under the Official Information Act.

On July 11, via two transactions involving Deutsche Securities and UBS Warburg, Perry increased its stake to 16 percent from 4.9 percent.

GPG claims Perry verbally confirmed to GPG it had a beneficial interest in the 11 percent although that is likely to be disputed by Perry in court.

The interest was retained through a complex series of synthetic transactions.

A date has not yet been set for the substantive court hearing.

GPG's Tony Gibbs did not wish to comment on the commission's decision.

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