ATI faces possible insider trading inquiry

ATI Technologies Inc. is facing Ontario Securities Commission allegations that company officials may be guilty of insider trading dating back to 2000.

Paul Russo, an ATI director

who joined the board in January 2002 will conduct an internal review of the company and late last week Peter Dey was hired as counsel to advise in the process.

Dey, a lawyer with Toronto firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, said there has been ongoing communication between the OSC and ATI since 2000 about the timing of a financial statement dated May 24, 2000. According to that statement, Toronto-based ATI reported lower than expected revenues and a loss for the for the third quarter ending May 31, 2000.

In a press release issued Monday, the company said that “”it is aware that OSC staff has raised concerns about trading that took place prior to the (May 2000) announcement by certain company insiders and others, including directors and officers.””

“”Only recently did the correspondence convert to a letter whereby the OSC expressed some concern regarding the timeliness of the May 24 announcement,”” said Dey. “”It’s fairly terse,”” he added. “”The OSC concerns are about trading that took place prior to the announcement. . . . They’ve asked for information about what was going on in the company at about that time.””

OSC spokesperson Frank Switzer said that it is the commission’s policy not to comment on its investigations and would only say that “”I don’t disagree with anything in (ATI’s) news release. Other than that, I’m not going to provide any detail.””

Dey said he is waiting for the OSC’s next move, which could be a regulatory response. “”We don’t know what that will be, that’s up to the OSC.””

In the meantime, Dey and Russo will conduct their own internal investigation of ATI’s governance system. “”It will be a very thorough review and it will be conducted on a very expeditious basis. We’re certainly looking at the first quarter of next year,”” said Dey.

On Monday, ATI also announced an agreement with Fujitsu Siemens Computers. The company will use ATI’s Mobility Radeon 9000 visual processor in its Amilo D series notebooks. ATI will announce on Wednesday its financial results for the first quarter of its 2003 fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2002.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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