October 2, 2007
SEC raps Tidewater and its CFO
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says that on September 27 it issued an order against Tidewater Inc. and James Keith Lousteau instituting cease-and- desist proceedings, making findings and imposing a cease-and-desist order pursuant to Section 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) .
The order finds that "Tidewater, a Louisiana operator of offshore service vessels, filed periodic 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. In addition, the fact that Tidewater had dozens such vessels constituted a known trend or uncertainty of the type that should have been disclosed in the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Tidewater's periodic filings."
The order further finds that "Lousteau, Tidewater's chief financial officer, caused 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."
"Based on the above," says the SEC, "the Order orders Tidewater to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Sections 13(a) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13 thereunder; and Lousteau to cease and desist from causing any violations and any future violations of Sections 13(a) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13 thereunder, and from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Exchange Act Rule 13a-14."
The SEC says Tidewater and Lousteau consented to the issuance of the order without admitting or denying any of the findings in the order, except as to personal and subject matter jurisdiction.