Hansen Natural could find itself in hot water with the Nasdaq, after it looked to sell shares after the plan to do so had expired.

The Californian soft drinks producer informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday (10 January) that it had "inadvertently" issued an option to one of its directors to buy 12,000 shares in November 2004. The plan to allow such option grants had closed four months prior to the offer being made, however.

In a filing to the SEC, Hansen said: "The company is exploring with Nasdaq staff appropriate steps to resolve this matter as expeditiously as possible."

The declaration is another in a long line of run-ins with the Nasdaq for Hansen. In November, the company was threatened with de-listing following a prolonged delay in filing its quarterly results. Hansen said at the time that it would file a full report of its performance during the third quarter of last year, once an investigation into the award of share options to its executives was complete. Hansen had been forced to set up the committee following a request from the SEC.

Separately, Hansen was hit by a lawsuit last month, by shareholders who claimed that it had issued positive press statements and quarterly financial reports that were "materially misleading". Hansen dismissed the claims as being "without merit".