The chief executive officer of Daylight Energy Inc. has been accused of illegal insider trading in the company’s shares in 2011, before an acquisition by a Chinese-based oil giant.
The Alberta Securities Commission alleges Anthony Lambert bought almost $490,000 worth of the exploration company’s shares in August and September, 2011, prior to a public announcement of a takeover bid by Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. in October that year.
The case is the second unveiled by the ASC in the past week involving allegations of breaches of insider trading rules by a corporate insider. Last week, the ASC accused the former corporate risk manager of Pembina Pipeline Corp. of allegedly tipping her husband to buy shares of Provident Energy Ltd. after she learned Pembina was planning a takeover bid for Provident.
In the latest case, the ASC has also accused Mr. Lambert’s former wife, Sandra Lynn Pierce, of breaching insider trading rules for buying $93,225 worth of shares of Daylight in 2011. The ASC alleged Mr. Lambert “encouraged or recommended” Ms. Pierce to buy shares of Daylight on Sept. 23, 2011.
None of the ASC allegations has been proven. Daylight did not return requests for comment.
In a statement, Mr. Lambert said, "I disagree with the allegations and intend to contest them. I complied with Daylight’s corporate trading policies in every respect, and made stringent efforts to ascertain that all trades were permissible in advance. I am confident that once the process has concluded, the ASC will find that there was no improper conduct on my part."
Ms. Pierce is also accused of informing her boyfriend, Sean Turner, about the pending deal. Mr. Turner is accused of acting “contrary to the public interest” for buying $2,054 worth of shares of Daylight “upon the recommendation or encouragement” of Ms. Pierce.
The Alberta regulator alleges talks about a takeover of Daylight by Sinopec arose in July, 2011, and Sinopec issued a letter of interest to Daylight by Aug. 5. By Aug. 26, Daylight’s general counsel imposed a trading blackout for all executives who were aware of the possible acquisition, and the blackout was expanded to the board of directors by Sept. 6.
Mr. Lambert is accused of buying shares between Aug. 8 and Sept. 16.
The $2.2-billion takeover bid was announced publicly on Oct. 9, 2011, and the company was renamed Sinopec Daylight Energy Ltd. after the deal was completed in December.