Regulators have temporarily halted the trading of shares in a small North Carolina company that's proposing to merge with a Charleston business.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's suspension in the penny stock of Wilmington-based Global Earth Energy Inc. took effect Friday. It's scheduled to be lifted March 20.
The agency's Atlanta office said it ordered the trading halt partly because of "questions regarding the accuracy and completeness of Global Earth's representations to investors and prospective investors" in government filings, news releases and other public statements.
"In particular, there are questions regarding the accuracy and completeness of Global Earth's public assertions relating to its business transactions with Hawk Manufacturing Corp.," the SEC said in a written statement Friday. It didn't elaborate.
Global Earth said in filings with the SEC that it bought 20 percent of Hawk in August and that the two companies are merging. It has described Hawk as a Charleston metal and plastic manufacturing business that was started in Florida.
"They serve customers in the aerospace, agriculture, automobile, oil and gas, shipping and food processing industries," according to a March 3 SEC filing. "Their business plan is to expand their operations by acquiring other companies in the metal and plastic manufacturing industry that serve similar markets."
Florida business records show John M. Ragsdale incorporated Hawk in July. It listed as a Brookstone Way address in Summerville.
Ragsdale, who is CEO, said he couldn't comment about the Global Earth trading halt.
"The SEC did not inform us of anything," Ragsdale said Friday.
He referred questions to an investor relations representative who didn't respond to a phone message. A Global Earth official also didn't respond to a request for comment.
The company's stock isn't listed on an exchange. It can be bought and sold in the over-the-counter market under the symbol GLER.
Global Earth began filing reports with the SEC in late 2012.
The firm described itself in a December 2013 statement as a "holding company which partners with closely held private or micro-cap market companies, while providing appropriate risk-adjusted returns to its shareholders. In pursuit of this goal, GLER is dedicated to partnering with owners and managers to build successful businesses; accomplishing this goal while conducting itself in a highly ethical and professional manner."
In its most recent financial report, Global Earth said its cumulative losses were $47 million. The last quoted price for its shares Thursday was less than 1 cent, according to Yahoo Finance.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.
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