The corporate regulator has found itself holding a 24 per cent stake in WA-based gold producer Tribune Resources.

A substantial shareholder notice was released to the market late on Tuesday showing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as the new owner of over 12 million Tribune (ASX:TBR) shares.

The situation arose after the Australian government’s Takeovers Panel found that Tribune managing director Anton Billis had a 60 per cent stake in the company via his own holdings and a number of associated holdings.

Mr Billis had amassed a 33.72 per cent stake in Tribune and also had a relevant interest in Rand Mining’s (ASX:RND) 26.32 per cent holding in the company.

Rand is one of Tribune’s partners in the East Kundana joint venture in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

The Panel said Mr Billis’ relevant interest in Tribune had not been disclosed in a substantial holder notice at any time.

“It follows, in our view, based on facts that did not appear to be contested, that the market has been uninformed to a very significant degree, and over a lengthy period, as to the persons who have substantial interests in, or control of, Tribune and Rand,” the Panel said.

The Panel ordered that the shareholding be vested into ASIC for sale at a later date.

ASIC spokesman Gervase Greene said the substantial shareholder notice showing ASIC as a substantial shareholder was a “matter of form”.

“Even if it’s just as an interim thing, we would still have to do a substantial shareholder notice because we hold more than 5 per cent,” he told Stockhead.