FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2010
Contact: Kimmie Lipscomb, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296
UANI Launches Iran Disclosure Project and Calls On Royal Dutch Shell to Provide Full Disclosure of its Business Dealings in Iran and the Incumbent Risks to Investors Associated With Such Activities
New York, NY - United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has launched the Iran Disclosure Project ("IDP"), an initiative to identify publicly-traded companies that have business dealings in Iran and ensure that such companies adequately inform investors of the legal and financial peril associated with such dealings.
Cotemporaneous with the launch of the IDP, UANI called on Royal Dutch Shell to make full disclosure of its business dealings in Iran, the legal risks related thereto and the financial risk borne by Royal Dutch Shell's shareholders as a result of its business in Iran.
U.S. securities laws require publicly-traded companies to provide investors with full and accurate disclosure of material information concerning operations, financial condition, and any risk factors that could affect financial performance. In particular, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations require companies to disclose with specificity the nature and extent of, and the risks associated with, a company's business activities involving state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran.
There are inherent risks to conducting business with state sponsors of terrorism, including but not limited to crippling sanctions and divestment. Investors have a legal right to know about these risks. It is imperative that investors be provided with sufficient information to adequately assess risks to their investments, information they will not be privy to if companies fail to disclose how their dealings with state sponsors of terrorism might affect their financial performance. UANI questions the legality of any company's failure to fully disclose the extent of its business dealings in Iran. Such failures deprive investors of the transparency and accountability they are entitled to.
UANI, therefore, has called on Royal Dutch Shell to disclose the full nature and extent of its activities in and the inherent risks of doing business in Iran.
In a letter to Peter Voser, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote: "We are writing to call your attention to a very serious issue involving deficiencies in your company's public filings, specifically, your company's ongoing failure to disclose the full nature and extent of Royal Dutch Shell plc's activities in, and risks of doing business with, Iran.
"A review of your company's filings with the SEC reveals only cursory disclosures regarding your company's dealings with Iran, disclosures that certainly provide less information to investors than is required by the U.S. securities laws. While you disclose that you have investments in Iran, nowhere in your filings do you describe and quantify the extent of those investments or the substantial risks associated with your Iran businesses, including the risk of severe sanctions from the United Nations, the U.S. government and the European Union, as well as the potential divestment of state pension funds and large institutional shareholders.
"As a result of your ongoing and willful failure to provide adequate disclosure regarding your investments in Iran, you are exposing the company to the risk of enforcement actions by the SEC and the UK Financial Services Authority, as well as shareholder class actions. We are furnishing copies of this letter to the SEC, the FSA, the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange and have urged each of them to launch a full investigation into Royal Dutch Shell's disclosure practices. UANI will continue monitoring your disclosures with regard to your Iran business.
"Please be advised that UANI, with the support of its tens of thousands of activists, will take any and all action we deem necessary to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for its inappropriate business relationships in Iran and its unlawful and inadequate disclosure related to such business. In the event Royal Dutch Shell continues its business operations in Iran and fails to adequately disclose the risks of such business, UANI will pursue appropriate legal action against Royal Dutch Shell, will call on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange to delist Royal Dutch Shell and will assist the many Royal Dutch shareholders who oppose Royal Dutch Shell's activities in Iran."
Click here to read the letter to Royal Dutch Shell
Click here to send a message to Royal Dutch Shell