By now, AC readers under no illusions about my feelings towards Catherine Kinney, President of the New York Stock Exchange, and the decision she made to nix Huntingdon Life Sciences' bid for listing HLS on the NYSE: it was a cowardly act, born of the fear of being targeted by Animal Rights thugs who regularly use coercion, intimidation and vandalism — including arson and bomb attacks — to force compliance.
In the event, HLS had passed the screening the NYSE required of potential applicants, and had been invited to apply for listing on the exchange. The NYSE was well aware of SHAC's efforts to bring down HLS, and the application had been approved and a formal announcement had been scheduled for September. HLS's public notification that it would be listed on the NYSE and that the announcement would be made official on September 7 was approved by the NYSE and contained a message from Kinney herself.
On the morning of September 7, Catherine Kinney announced instead — to HLS executives gathered at a celebratory breakfast only 45 minutes before HLS's moment of triumph — that the listing would be "postponed," stunning everyone, including her own colleagues as well as HLS executives, none of whom had any inkling at all this was coming.
In the immediate aftermath — lasting about an hour — the conversation between Kinney and HLS executives focussed almost exclusively on Animal Rights issues, not on any "skeletons" in HLS's closet. Neither Kinney nor the NYSE has yet offered any specific explanations as to why the lurch backwards, even when questioned during the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearings that were held on October 26. Everything is "confidential" — which is a neat way to avoid accountability.
Suffice it to say, Ms Kinney's reversed course cost HLS many millions of dollars — or, more precisely, it cost HLS's shareholders many millions of dollars.
Investors in Huntingdon Life Sciences are threatening to sue the New York Stock Exchange over its last minute decision to block the share listing of the controversial drugs testing company.
Hundreds of institutional investors are nursing heavy losses after buying shares in Huntingdon in anticipation of the listing on the NYSE.
Shares in Huntingdon, which currently trades as Life Sciences Research on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board, a lightly-regulated trading service, soared by more than 10 per cent after the company announced at the end of August that it was planning to list on the NYSE.
However, since the NYSE's shock decision on September 7 to indefinitely postpone the planned listing, Huntingdon's shares have plummeted by more than 30 per cent.
A spokesman for Huntingdon in the US confirmed that investors were considering taking legal action against the NYSE. "A lot of investors bought in on the expectation of the company listing," he said.
The threat of legal action will put further pressure on the NYSE to reconsider its decision.
I hope they sue, and I hope they collect big-time.
And I hope Kinney does the honorable thing and resigns. An institution with the power the NYSE has can't be led by someone who is a coward.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for the tip.