FBI investigating potential insider trading in Heinz

NEW YORK Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:34am IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The FBI is looking into possible insider trading in the options of ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co HNZ.N before its blockbuster deal last week to be acquired by Warren Buffett and Brazil's 3G Capital, a bureau spokesman said on Tuesday.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) and 3G said last Thursday they would buy Heinz for $23 billion in cash. Almost immediately, options market players noted there had been extremely unusual activity the day before the deal was announced.

On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against unknown traders who it said used a Goldman Sachs (GS.N) account in Switzerland to trade on purported inside knowledge of the transaction.

On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was joining in as well.

"The FBI is aware of the trading anomalies the day before Heinz' announcement," a spokesman said. "The FBI is consulting with the SEC to determine if a crime was committed."

A spokeswoman for the investor group declined to comment on the FBI's involvement. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said the bank is cooperating with authorities' investigations.

Swiss authorities have already said they have not been asked to help with the U.S. investigation.

The SEC enforcement action marked the second time in six months regulators had taken aim at alleged insider trading in a deal involving 3G. The first instance, last September, involved a stockbroker trading on inside information related to 3G's 2010 purchase of Burger King BKW.N.

(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Additional reporting by Ben Berkowitz in Boston and Dan Wilchins in New York; Editing by Gary Hill, Jim Marshall and Steve Orlofsky)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

2015: India Outlook

2015: India Outlook

India in 2014: A dream run for markets.  Full Article 

Funding Woes

Funding Woes

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue.  Full Article 

Flying Back on Course

Flying Back on Course

The inside story of the new Airbus A350 jet.  Full Article 

Oil Price Forecast

Oil Price Forecast

Oil prices likely to rebound in second half of 2015: poll  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

China's private sector suitors to drive Asian M&A deals in 2015.  Full Article 

Property Tycoon

Property Tycoon

Wang Jianlin, China's property tycoon, finds golden path to billions.  Full Article 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Internet outage seen in N. Korea amid U.S. hacking dispute.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage