G8 Education washes hands of Jenny Hutson saga in the wake of ASIC charges

Written on the 5 April 2018 by Paris Faint

G8 Education washes hands of Jenny Hutson saga in the wake of ASIC charges

Responding to charges laid against its former chair Jenny Hutson earlier in the week, G8 Education (ASX: GEM) has washed its hands of any connection to the corporate raider's alleged unlawful actions during her tenure.

G8 released a public statement saying that it is aware of the charges brought against Hutson by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and that the company is not currently under any similar scrutiny.

"G8 Education has been made aware of a range of charges brought against former chair, Ms Jenny Hutson, on behalf of ASIC," said the company.

"The group confirms that Ms Hutson has been named in the charges and that no allegations have been made against G8 or any other current board member or staff.

"G8 has had no contact from ASIC on this matter since 2016."

Huston was at the centre of G8 Education's failed takeover attempt of Affinity Education in 2015.

The proposed deal became subject to a Takeovers Panel probe which ultimately cost Hutson her job after it was discovered that she had connections with three separate companies that also had a stake in Affinity.

Hutson was connected to Taxonomy, JB Superfund and WestBridge Holdings; all companies which had acquired a significant stake in Affinity Education and were questioned in relation to close connections with G8 Education.

Hutson resigned from the board just days after the takeover collapsed and Affinity Education was instead sold to private equity group Anchorage Capital Partners for $212 million. It was widely understood that Hutson was forced to bear the brunt of responsibility for the failed Affinity deal.

Hutson faces multiple charges of dishonesty and misconduct which allegedly occurred during her stint as chair.

The charges include attempting to pervert the course of justice, giving false and misleading information and dishonestly failing to exercise her powers and discharge duties as a director.

On the two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice alone, Hutson is facing a maximum sentence of up to ten years.

G8's stock price is trading flat at $2.50 at the time of writing (11:55am AEST).

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Author: Paris Faint

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