Cease-trade hits Alliance

Directors, officers, insiders unable to trade co.'s stox for 15 days

TORONTO — Alliance Atlantis Communications has been hit with a cease-trade order after postponing the filing of its year-end results three times and late last week missing the securities deadlines on its year end and first quarter.

More than three dozen directors, officers and insiders of Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis and its holding companies have been prohibited by the Ontario Securities Commission from trading in the company’s stock for 15 days. Other provinces are expected to issue similar orders to cover other jurisdictions.

“It would be prejudicial to the public interest to allow the respondents to trade in the securities of Alliance until such time as all disclosure required by Ontario securities law has been made by Alliance,” said a release from the Ontario Securities Commission.

The company says it has been slow to file its numbers because of the complexity of winding down its production business, as announced at the end of the year, the spin-off of its distribution division into an income trust and the change of its year end to Dec. 31.

The OSC will hold a hearing on June 4 to consider extending the ban. The company has said that it hopes to file by then. The trading ban will remain in place until two days after the numbers are filed.