Home | Top Stories | ASIC chases ex-Quintis CEO Frank Wilson to court over ‘misleading or deceptive’ sandalwood oil contract disclosure

ASIC chases ex-Quintis CEO Frank Wilson to court over ‘misleading or deceptive’ sandalwood oil contract disclosure

The corporate regulator has launched a civil action against former Quintis chief executive Frank Wilson alleging he failed to fulfill his responsibilities as a director of the failed sandalwood company.

The Federal Court proceedings relate to the termination of a sandalwood oil supply contract with Galderma, a subsidiary of global giant Nestle.

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s claim, Mr Wilson was aware the Galderma contract was cancelled in early 2017 but the Quintis board was not made aware of the cancellation until the following May.

“ASIC further alleges that when Quintis responded to an ASX query on March 27, 2017, Mr Wilson allowed Quintis to release information regarding the status of the Galderma agreements that was misleading or deceptive,” the commission said today.

ASIC alleges the Quintis founder “did not discharge to Quintis with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person in the position of managing director would exercise”.

The regulator is seeking a ban and civil penalties against Mr Wilson, who stepped down from Quintis at the end of March to pursue an unsuccessful buyout of the company.

The proceedings represent a quick turnaround for ASIC, which has been investigating Quintis for about 15 months.

The sandalwood company collapsed in January after being unable to meet a $37 million put option to buy back sandalwood plantations.

Last week, receivers announced a deal with bond holders owed more than $300 million to recapitalise and privatise the business, which manages thousands of hectares of plantations across northern Australia.

Mr Wilson said he would defend the action and was “looking forward to the opportunity to expose the facts and the board’s actions concerning the alleged termination”.

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