Risk & Compliance

SEC Settles Disclosure Beef with Tidewater and Its CFO

A cease-and-desist order means the company must provide better information about its old, out-of-service ships.
Stephen TaubOctober 3, 2007

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a cease-and-desist order against Tidewater Inc. and chief financial officer James Lousteau over alleged inaccurate disclosures related to vessels taken out of service.

The regulator said Tidewater, an operator of offshore service vessels, filed financial reports that contained inaccurate disclosures and failed to disclose material information about older vessels within its fleet that had not been in service for several years and were unlikely to return to service.

The SEC also said Tidewater should have disclosed in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis section of its filings that it had dozens of these vessels, constituting a known trend.

The order also blamed Lousteau for Tidewater’s reporting violations. “Moreover, Tidewater, through Lousteau, failed to have adequate internal controls in place with respect to dealing with impairment issues for its vessels,” he SEC added.

Tidewater and Lousteau consented to the cease-and-desist oder without admitting or denying any of the findings. Lusteau has been Tidewater’s executive vice president and CFO since September 2000 and has been with the company in various positions since 1977.

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