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De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has advised a shareholder of Degrenne, a company listed on Euronext Paris at the time of the events, who was accused of alleged price manipulation

The shareholder was accused of having placed large and aggressive orders, which led to an increase in Degrenne’s share price.

The AMF Enforcement Committee (Commission des Sanctions), after having noted that the orders had accounted for a large proportion of daily trading volume, however considered that they had had the effect of absorbing available liquidity and generating additional liquidity as compared to the usual trading volumes, thereby leading to the actual execution of trades at the time of fixing. It considered that these transactions thus reflected a genuine buying interest on the part of the accused shareholder, consistent with his asset management and equity strengthening strategy.

The Committee therefore concluded that the disputed interventions did not give false or misleading indications as to the demand for the share concerned.

The Committee also rejected the second breach of market manipulation by fixing of the share price at an abnormal or artificial level notified to the shareholder, which was based on the same disputed interventions, holding that this grievance was not further characterized since these interventions stemmed from an actual buying interest on the part of the shareholder, whose objective was not to fix the price at a given level.

The Committee therefore exonerated the shareholder in a decision dated 26 February 2021 published on its website.

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