Financial Supervision Authority calls on Tallink, LHV to end public dispute

Kilvar Kessler.
Kilvar Kessler. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Financial Supervision Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) called on the representatives of Tallink Grupp and LHV to end the public debate in connection with the financing offer that has aroused passions.

Chair of the Management Board Kilvar Kessler wrote on social media on Monday: "The word has power, also in the public discourse of listed companies on their value. It is time to draw the line, to avoid half-statements that touch the limits of market abuse. It is related to work activities."

Kessler emphasized that the stock exchange is subject to financial supervision as well as the issuer and the banking group.

Kaisa Gabral, a communication specialist at the Financial Supervision Authority, said the purpose of the post was to draw attention to the end of a protracted public debate.

"In the case of listed companies, the statements must be careful, correct, accurate and complete. The Financial Supervision Authority has been in contact with the representatives of both listed companies and has reached a consensus that they will continue the debate in public," Gabral told ERR.

Kaarel Ots, the head of the Tallinn Stock Exchange, told ERR on Monday LHV and Tallink have not violated the stock exchange rules.

On Thursday, LHV Varahaldus announced it had made a financing offer of €200 millio with private equity fund Novalpina Capital to Tallink. Tallink rejected the offer and disclosed its details, saying that it was not in the interests of the company's shareholders and calling it "extortion".

At the beginning of April, Tallink announced that it needed a liquidity loan for three years due to the coronavirus outbreak and its economic effects. At that time, the company offered direct loans, temporary share capital increases and bonds as solutions.

Last Thursday, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said the state plans to offer Tallink a liquidity loan of €150 million, which could later be formalized as the state owning a stake in the company. However, Helme said it may be necessary to amend the law to carry this out.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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