£4m-a-year Sarbox millstone forces ICI to abandon US listing

ICI is gearing up to leave the New
York Stock Exchange to free itself from the blight of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

The company predicted a £4m annual saving from the de-listing based on the
costs ‘incurred using external suppliers and auditors to provide ongoing support
to the company’s Sarbanes-Oxley compliance’.

Alan J Brown, ICI’s CFO said: ‘ICI will continue to comply with the Combined
Code on Corporate Governance and the UK Listing Authority listing rules and
maintain quarterly reporting. However, it no longer makes sense from a cost and
administrative perspective to submit to the reporting obligations under the
Exchange Act.’

The move will be seen as an embarrasing snub for the US stock market which
has come under fire from companies ever since the inception of the demanding
internal control requirements.

After setting the wheels in motion by providing the NYSE written notice of
its intent to delist today, the corporate plans to wrap up the exit by the
mid-June: ‘ICI plans to file a Form 25 with the
Securities and Exchange
and the NYSE on or about 8 June, 2007, to effect the delisting.’
The KPMG-audited corporate
added: ‘The delisting is expected to be effective 10 days after this filing.’

Further reading:

SEC gives green light to fresh
interpretation of Sarbox

Sarbox ‘does not need to be changed’

Republican attempt to limit Sarbox

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