Quickie: Ola Rollén back as CEO of Hexagon
After being detained for over a week on suspicion of insider trading, Hexagon CEO Ola Rollén has resumed his official duties and started making a public case for his innocence. During a conference call today, Mr. Rollén explained that he does a lot of investing through Greenbridge Partners, a privately held investment company in which he is a primary shareholder and Iskossala, an investment “vehicle” controlled by the Rollén family.
Iskossala purchased shares in NEXT Biometrics ASA on October 6 and 7, 2015 on the Oslo Stock Exchange because Mr. Rollén believes NEXT’s fingerprint sensor technology could see explosive growth. When this was announced, NEXT’s share price nearly doubled. Then, over the next few days, Iskossala bought more shares in NEXT from another shareholder, subscribed to future rights issues, acquired more shares … All of this was done by Iskossala on behalf of Greenbridge because Greenbridge wasn’t yet “operationally functional”. Greenbridge was incorporated on January 12, 2016, when Iskossala transfered all of its shares in NEXT to Greenbridge at cost plus 5% annualized interest.
Insider trading usually means that someone has information about something material, like a public company winning a big new contract or making a discovery that could materially affect revenue or profit potential — and acts on it for financial gain. It sounds as though the question here is whether Mr. Rollén knew something advantageous to him, Iskossala or Greenbridge before the share purchases took place. It’s important to note that this investigation is ongoing and that Mr. Rollén has not been indicted.
Mr. Rollén says he intends to “lead [Hexagon] with full force” and reinforced that the company is 16,000 people strong — “it’s not a one-man show”.
Hexagon’s next public statements are expected at an investor event on December 1. It’s not clear whether there will be any more to say on this matter by then.