07 April 2014, News Wires – Norwegian holding company Aker, backed by billionaire investor Kjell Inge Rokke, has accepted a Nkr51 million ($8.5 million) fine for insider trading in connection with the acquisition of shares in engineering contractor Aker Solutions.
The penalty was imposed by Norway’s financial crime unit Okokrim, which found that Aker had inside information on the sale of one of Aker Solutions’ business units when it decided to extend a total return swap agreement for 1.5 million shares to boost its shareholding in the contractor last November.
Aker made a theoretical gain of Nkr17 million on the transaction and the fine represents confiscation of this gain plus double the amount.
Rokke, who is Aker’s chairman and dominant shareholder, said: “Aker has concluded that it is sensible to reach an agreement with Okokrim and accept the penalty notice.”
Describing it as “one of the most dismaying incidents” during his time at the company, he apologised to shareholders for the “oversight”, adding “this is a case of good intentions, bad execution”.
Aker holds controlling stakes in a number of oil and gas-related companies, including contractors Aker Solutions and Kvaerner, and oil company Det Norske Oljeselskap.