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The AMF Enforcement Committee fines Rallye and its chief executive officer, Franck Hattab, for market manipulation
15 September 2023

The AMF Enforcement Committee fines Rallye and its chief executive officer, Franck Hattab, for market manipulation

In its decision of 7 September 2023, the Committee fined Rallye €25 million and Franck Hattab €1 million for disseminating false or misleading information that is likely to secure the price of one or several financial instruments at an abnormal or artificial level.

The AMF Board accused Rallye and Mr Hattab of having disseminated false or misleading information about Rallye's financial position on 11 occasions between 8 March 2018 and 15 May 2019 through 14 communication channels, including Rallye's 2017 annual results, its 2018 half-year results and its 2018 annual results.

The Enforcement Committee upheld all of the reported complaints.

The Committee found that Rallye had disseminated false or misleading information which gave investors a more favourable image of its liquidity situation than it really was, in particular by describing this situation as "solid" or "very solid". In fact, due to certain clauses and guarantees in the financing contracts, its liquidity situation depended on the Casino share price, which was highly volatile and subject to persistent downward pressure, to a greater extent than Rallye's financial communications suggested.

The Commission found that the false or misleading information disseminated by Rallye was likely to have an impact on the market's perception of its financial situation and, consequently, to set its share price at an abnormal or artificial level, in this case higher than it would have been in the presence of accurate and non-misleading information.

Finally, the Committee found that Rallye knew or ought to have known that the information was false or misleading and that the failings were attributable to Mr Hattab, Rallye's chief executive officer and Head of Financial Communications at the time of the facts.

An appeal may be lodged against this decision.

Application for a stay of enforcement of decision SAN-2023-13 filed by Rallye and Mr Hattab before the Paris Court of Appeal

By order of 13 December 2023 (no. 23/15516), the magistrate delegated by the First President of the Paris Court of Appeal ordered a stay of execution of the Enforcement Committee's decision of 7 September 2023 against Rallye until the Court of Appeal had ruled on the merits of the appeal against that decision.

By order of 24 January 2024 (no. 23/17522), the judge delegated by the First President of the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Franck Hattab's application for a stay of execution of the Enforcement Committee's decision of 7 September 2023.

Appeal lodged Rallye and Mr Hattab before the Paris Court of Appeal against decision SAN-2023-13

Rallye and Mr Hattab have lodged an appeal before the Paris Court of Appeal against the Enforcement Committee's decision of 7 september 2023.

About the Enforcement Committee
The Enforcement Committee, which is made up of judges and professionals, has total freedom to make decisions. It can impose sanctions on any person or company whose practices contravene laws and regulations that fall within the jurisdiction of the AMF. It ratifies settlement agreements signed by the Secretary General and respondents. And it takes part in the AMF’s educational efforts by clarifying financial regulations when explaining its decisions.

AMF Communications Directorate