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April 29, 2005

USA: Tyson reaches settlement with SEC

US meat processor Tyson Foods has said the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given final approval to a settlement resolving the SEC's investigation into the disclosure of certain executive perquisites by Tyson Foods.

US meat processor Tyson Foods has said the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given final approval to a settlement resolving the SEC’s investigation into the disclosure of certain executive perquisites by Tyson Foods.

“Our company has cooperated fully with the SEC in an effort to resolve this matter and are pleased to be moving forward,” said John Tyson, chairman and CEO. “We’ve also put additional controls and procedures in place to help ensure executive perquisites are being properly tracked and disclosed in the future.”

The SEC’s order resolves allegations that the company’s proxy statements for fiscal years 1997 through 2003 failed to comply with SEC regulations on the disclosure and description of perquisites totalling approximately $1.7m provided to former senior chairman Don Tyson. The order also resolves allegations that the company had not maintained an adequate system of internal controls over the personal use of company assets and the disclosure of perquisites and personal benefits.

Both the company and Don Tyson consented to the entry of the order without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

As previously reported, Tyson Foods had offered to pay the SEC a civil penalty of $1.5m while Don Tyson had proposed to pay a civil penalty of $200,000. The SEC has accepted the company’s offer and, after further negotiations, has agreed to accept a penalty of $700,000 from Don Tyson.

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