Reference is made to a press release issued by the Oslo Stock Exchange Appeals Committee ("OSEAC") on 17 September 2009, concerning DNO's appeal against the a decision by the board of Oslo Stock Exchange ("OSE") on 17 June 2009 to impose certain penalty payments on DNO, due to an alleged breach of its obligations to release information to OSE and to release information to the market.
The alleged breach of such obligations was according to OSE related to DNO's sale of 43,873,960 treasure shares on 10 October, 2008. The OSEAC has concluded that DNO had not breached its obligation to release information to the market in relation to the sales of the shares, but maintained the breach of obligation to release information to OSE.
DNO note that the decision made by OSEAC supports the Company's position that it has complied with its obligation to release information to the market in relation to the share transaction.
Prior to the sale of the treasury shares, DNO searched potential buyers both through direct and indirect contacts. The main rationale behind of the sale of the shares was triggered by the turbulence in the financial market at the time where traditional sources of financing were not available. The Company's key focus was to sell the shares at the best possible price and the sale was completed substantially above the then current trading value
The sale of the shares was as required under applicable regulations reported immediately to the market on 10 October, 2008. The shares sold by DNO were held under a UK nominee account and the beneficiary ownership of the shares was at the time not known to the Company.
In the beginning of April 2009 the Company received information about the beneficiary owner of the shares sold by DNO on 10 October 2008 which was then reported to the market in a Stock Exchange Notice released on 6 April 2009. In this Stock Exchange Notice it was reported that Genel Enerji was the beneficial owner of the shares.
The OSEAC decision on 17 September 2009 concludes that DNO did not hold in its position information considered as insider information related to the sales of the shares until the Company received information about beneficiary owner of the shares in the beginning of April 2009. DNO have therefore fully complied with its obligation to disclose information to the market in relation to the above mentioned sales of shares, which has now also been supported by the OSEAC.
Despite this conclusion reached by the OSEAC, the OSE has decided to publish the full minutes from the meeting on 17 June 2009.
DNO strongly rejects that OSE has the right to do so as such minutes contains several allegations against DNO which DNO has rejected and which has also not been supported by the OSEAC. This may lead to speculative and misleading conclusions, and make available to the market information deemed not to be required to be disclosed and irrelevant for evaluating the Company's shares.
DNO International ASA
18 September 2009