The trade in shares in Italian bioplastics maker Bio-On has been indefinitely suspended, the Borsa Italiana has announced.
The Milan stock market took this step following yesterday’s decision by Public Prosecutor to take the "precautionary measure" of placing Chief Executive and founder and president of the board of directors Marco Astorri under house arrest. Vice president Guido Cicognani and the president of the board of auditors, Gianfranco Capodaglio, have been prohibited from further fulfilling their roles. Sources say there are nine suspects in all.
Reuters reported yesterday that the Italian tax police said they had seized 150 million euros ($166 million) in assets in a market manipulation and false accounting case and were carrying out searches in offices in several Italian regions. Italian prosecutors opened a probe in July over alleged market manipulation after U.S. fund Quintessential Capital Management accused the bio-plastics company of accounting irregularities.
Bio-on today made it known that during those searches, documents were seized as part of an investigation conducted by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Bologna into the members of the Board of Directors and the Board of Statutory Auditors of the Company.
The company also reported that it was cooperating in full with the ongoing investigation. The company issued a statement saying that it was fully confident that analysis of the seized material would show no wrongdoing on the part of the corporate bodies ‘as confirmed before the Court of Companies of Bologna, during the hearing held on Oct. 16.
The company further said it would endeavor to find an appropriate solution "to overcome this difficult time, ensuring a future for the project of PHA technology."
Following yesterday’s development, Quintessential Capital Management Fund tweeted one word: “Bio-Off."