Pace may face FSA on disclosure

Set-top box giant Pace might have to face an official City enquiry into its results statement. Pace’s shares fell back almost 20 per cent yesterday. The problem is CEO Neil Gaydon told analysts and press that one significant US order would be delayed by a year because the customer had decided to adopt new technology.

However, this information was not communicated to investors or the stock exchange along with the 2010 results statement. The UK’s Financial Services Authority has tight rules on what can be communicated without that information having first been issued via a stock market statement. The perception is that Pace’s larger investors might have enjoyed privileged access to market-sensitive information.

Pace’s official advisors had said that because Pace’s group profits for 2011 would not be materially affected there was no need to disclose the news in its results statement.

Pace’s City advice comes from Brunswick PR, as well as KPMG, lawyers Ashurst, and investment bankers JP Morgan.

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