Former prominent New Zealand businesswoman Jan Cameron, a co-founder of outdoor retailer Kathmandu, is being prosecuted by Australia’s financial regulator.
The charges relate to Cameron’s involvement in Australian infant formula maker Bellamy’s.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has charged her for not disclosing her links to a major investor in the company.
ASIC alleged that Cameron from mid-2014 started building a substantial interest in Bellamy’s in her own name and in conjunction with another company, The Black Prince Foundation.
It said between them the stake was nearly 15 percent of Bellamy’s, but Cameron hid her links with Black Prince at that stage.
ASIC also alleged that when she eventually moved to inform the market in 2017 of her own stake of more than 5 percent, as required by law, she misled investors by not disclosing her real relationship with Black Prince.
The charges carry penalties of up to five years jail.
Bellamy’s was taken over last year by Chinese dairy group, Mengniu.
Cameron sold her controlling stake in Kathmandu in 2006, making her one of the richest people on both sides of the Tasman.
She has also been involved with local retailers, Postie Plus, Pumpkin Patch, outdoor goods company Macpac, and interior and furnishing company New Objects of Desire (NOOD).
Cameron, who lives in Tasmania, has been involved in animal welfare and other charitable causes, and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010 for services to business and philanthropy.