Sema tells accused director to quit board

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hartmut Lademacher, a non-executive director of the software services company Sema, resigned at the board's request yesterday after revelations that he had contravened rules on share dealing by selling 2.6 million shares ahead of his company's interim results.

Hartmut Lademacher, a non-executive director of the software services company Sema, resigned at the board's request yesterday after revelations that he had contravened rules on share dealing by selling 2.6 million shares ahead of his company's interim results.

Nick Deeming, the company secretary of the Anglo-French group, said: "I think it would be correct to say that investors have been concerned and I think that it is correct that they should be concerned." A terse company statement said: "Hartmut Lademacher has today resigned from the board of Sema Group at the board's request." Mr Lademacher declined to comment but Sema confirmed that he had left immediately. Shares in the company closed off 6 per cent at 308p yesterday.

The Frankfurt-based businessman sold 2.6 million Sema shares at prices between £12.90 and £13.31 during late August and early September. In doing so, he broke the listing requirements of publicly quoted companies in London by selling the shares when the company was in a two-month "closed period" before announcing its half-year results. He also failed to inform Sema of his plans.It is believed that larger UK investors consider Pierre Bonelli, Sema's chief executive, should take responsibility for a breakdown in internal controls.

Earlier in the week, a Sema spokesman said Mr Lademacher had "made a mistake" and had misunderstood the listing rules.

Sema learned about the sales on 11 October and made an announcement to the Stock Exchange two weeks later, but that passed unnoticed until a profit warning last week that drove the share price down more than 47 per cent.

The Financial Services Authority is believed to have launched an inquiry.

Comments