Food firm hit with fine for breaking Stock Market rules

Real Good Food

Food ingredients firm Real Good Food has revealed it has been fined £450,000 for breaking stock market rules.

The fine was announced on the same day that the firm announced a series of changes on its board.

The firm has endured a tough couple of years but claims it is on the path to recovery.

The company has been fined and censured by the Stock Exchange for breaching AIM market rules.

Real Good Food shares were trading 7% higher at 5.75 pence following the announcement.

However, the stock is down 24% over the past 12 months and 87% from a 2015 peak.

The company will pay £300,000 as a a discount for an early settlement of the fine, which relates to breaches of six AIM rules in July 2017.

The fine is linked to issues surrounding disclosure, annual accounts, dealing policy, and directors’ compliance.

A statement from the firm said: “The company regrets these breaches and fully understands and accepts the importance of sound corporate governance and complying with the AIM rules.

“It has cooperated fully with the London Stock Exchange’s enquiry and, since the relevant events that led to the censure, the former chair and two other directors have left the company.

“Since the breaches were discovered in September 2017, the company has taken action to improve procedures and controls adopting new corporate governance and procedures.”

Chief executive Hugh Cawley said: “We are pleased to draw a line under these unfortunate incidents in the company’s history, for which we have accepted responsibility.

“We now have in place fit-for-purpose corporate governance and are committed to complying with our obligations under the AIM rules.”It was also announced interim non-executive chair Patrick Ridgwell will retire from the board with immediate effect and will be replaced by independent non-executive director Mike Holt.

Deputy chair Chris Thomas will retire from his role on the board, “not later” than July 31.

And Anthony Ridgwell, the principal beneficiary of Napier Brown’s holding in Real Good Food, will join the board as a non-executive director.

Hugh Cawley added: “Today’s changes complete the reconstitution of RGF’s Board which began two years ago.

“We now have in place an appropriate board structure with a better balance of executive, non-executive, and independent non-executive directors, in line with our commitment to improved corporate governance.”

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