Legal

CSIRO chief taken to court by shareholders of collapsed ASX listed business

Renee Thompson /

 

The chief executive of the CSIRO is facing misconduct allegations by a group of former investors from collapsed IT company, Arasor International.

Larry Marshall was announced as the new chief executive of CSIRO in October last year and took over the reins earlier this year.

A former technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Marshall was previously managing director of Arasor International, which focused on developing integrated optoelectronic and wireless solutions.

Arasor International was listed on the ASX in 2006 and raised $81 million but collapsed in 2011 citing cash problems and was subsequently delisted.

Marshall, along with other Arasor company directors, is now at the centre of a misconduct case which has been before the Federal Court since 2012 according to reports in The Australian today.

A group of shareholders who call themselves Caason Investments allege Arasor’s financial statements failed to comply with relevant standards for disclosing information about the company’s financial position.

Caason also alleges Arasor’s directors provided a prospectus which made misleading forecasts about the company’s financial performance.

A spokesperson for CSIRO confirmed to SmartCompany the organisation did have knowledge of the court action prior to Marshall’s appointment earlier this year.

“Dr Marshall made the required confidential private interest disclosure to CSIRO before he was appointed Chief Executive of CSIRO – with the appointment announced on 9 October 2014 and commencing in January 2015. ,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Dr Marshall’s prior disclosure to CSIRO included the proceedings brought by Caason Investments Pty Ltd in 2012 against the directors of Arasor in 2006 and later the auditors.

“As the case is before the Federal Court we are unable to comment further at this time.”

 

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Renee Thompson

Renee Thompson is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at Fairfax Media for the Bendigo Advertiser and at another regional Victorian media outlet.

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