GLG Life Tech receives cease trade order

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

GLG Life Tech receives cease trade order
Stevia supplier GLG Life Tech has stopped trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it received a full cease trade order from the British Columbia Securities Commission, due to delayed filing of its year-end financial statements and related documents.

The company said on March 30 that it expected a delay until the end of April because it was working to obtain further audit evidence, primarily from third parties, required by its auditors. On April 30, GLG said its audit committee had engaged KPMG LLP, an audit, tax and advisory firm, to assist in the process, and said it expected the audit to be completed by the end of May, although it “cannot provide a definitive date of completion of the audit”.

GLG said that the auditors have not found evidence of any wrongdoing at the company.

Also on April 30, GLG announced that it had arranged an interim credit facility of up to $6.5m from Dr. Luke Zhang, the company’s chairman and CEO.

In terms of stevia sales, the company said it had signed sales contracts relating to its stevia products “approaching $7m in the past few weeks and continues to focus on making progress on improving its stevia sales.”

GLG continues to cite a number of hurdles to increasing sales, including taste challenges for its customers in formulating with the sweetener, increased competition in the stevia market, and the amount of stevia already held by some of its customers.

GLG shares have lost 92.5% of their value over the past 12 months, closing on Wednesday at $0.79 a share.

The last time GLG reported its financial results, for the third quarter of 2011, ended September 30, it reported a 92% year-on-year slump in sales, from C$20.9m for the same period a year earlier, to C$1.7m, across its stevia and Chinese consumer beverage businesses.

It reported a net loss of C$26.6m, compared to a net profit of C$1.6m in Q3 2010.

The company also said at that time that it had renegotiated its 10-year supply agreement with Cargill – its biggest stevia customer – meaning that Cargill would no longer be obliged to purchase 80% of its stevia supply from GLG.

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