CBb reverses administrative fines for inside information

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On appeal, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) reversed two administrative fines imposed by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). The fines were imposed in 2011 on Mr Heidman (€100,000) and Mr Van Leeuwen (€114,000).

According to the AFM, Mr Heidman (Heidman), chairman of the board of Schuitema B.V. (currently C1000 B.V.), communicated inside information during a conference for entrepeneurs at Schuitema on 23 September 2009. The AFM considered that said inside information concerned plans on the part of Schuitema, among others, to take over Super de Boer.

Mr Van Leeuwen (Van Leeuwen) opened a new securities account during the Entrepreneurs Day, purchased shares in Super de Boer and used inside information in that connection, according to the AFM. The CBb ruled, however, that Heidman's statements were not sufficiently specific to be able to deduce that he communicated information about proposed takeover plans.

An unambiguous statement was not made in that sense. The CBb considers it important in that connection that Heidman's statements can be interpreted in different ways. As it has been established that the chairman of the board did not communicate inside information, it is impossible for Van Leeuwen to have abused such inside information.

The AFM has removed the previous press releases and the decisions to impose a fine from its website. In its supervisory practice, it takes account of these rulings of the CBb (ruling dated 5 February 2014, Heidman with case numbers 12/856 and 12/861, Van Leeuwen with case number 12/855).

The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets.

As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.

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