Vaughan Bowen, the former chairman of telecommunications company Vocus, has today been charged with two counts of insider trading relating to his disposal of 5 million shares in the company.
Bowen, the founder of M2 Telecommunications which merged with Vocus, will face the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria on 7 December over the charges, with the corporate watchdog alleging he was in the possession of insider information before disposing of the shares.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission alleges Bowen knew about the likely withdrawal of a proposal by EQT Infrastructure IV Fund to acquire all shares in Vocus prior to this information being announced to the market.
Melbourne-based Bowen, who stepped down as chair of the telco in March 2018, disposed of the 5 million shares on 4 June, one day before the Swedish suitor EQT decided to scrap its proposed $3.3 billion takeover of Vocus.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment.
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