Saturday 17 August 2019

Chairman of Eir shareholder fined €600,000 for insider deal

Iliad majority owner Xavier Niel
Iliad majority owner Xavier Niel
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

MAXIME Lombardini, the former chief executive and current chairman of Eir shareholder Iliad, has been fined €600,000 for insider dealing. The fine is for selling shares in the French company before the public was informed that the firm had made an approach to buy T-Mobile operations in the US.

The enforcement committee of France's financial markets authority, AMF, also fined Iliad €100,000. The committee said that on July 2, 2014, Mr Lombardini sold Iliad shares he beneficially owned, and on July 11 sold Iliad shares his partner owned.

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When Iliad disclosed on July 31 that it had made an approach to but T-Mobile USA, shares in the French company fell about 7pc.

The enforcement committee said that by July 24 that year, Iliad could no longer ensure that its approach to T-Mobile USA could remain confidential, but didn't formally tell the market of the play until July 31.

The committee said that Iliad had "failed in its obligation to communicate any insider information as soon as possible".

Both Iliad and Mr Lombardini are free to appeal the ruling of the enforcement committee.

Iliad, founded by Xavier Niel, who is its majority shareholder, acquired a 31.6pc stake in Eir in 2017. An investment vehicle controlled by Mr Niel, NJJ, acquired an additional 32.9pc.

The Lombardini case is part of an AMF probe that included a look into how the bid was leaked during a Eurostar trip from London to Paris. During the journey, a UBS Group AG banker caught a few glimpses of messages that popped up on the phone of his unsuspecting neighbour, a Lazard dealmaker and close financial adviser to Iliad.

Irish Independent

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