ZURICH Feb 22 Swiss authorities said they will
aid a U.S. investigation into alleged insider trading in
connection with H.J. Heinz Co the day before it was
announced that the company would be sold.
Options markets participants noted extremely unusual
activity almost immediately after Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway and Brazil's 3G Capital said last Thursday
that they would buy Heinz for $23 billion in cash.
Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed
a suit against unnamed traders who it said used a Goldman Sachs
account in Switzerland to trade on purported inside
knowledge of the transaction.
"We're in touch with the SEC and will, as in all cases of
this nature, cooperate to the extent of our legal
possibilities," Swiss financial regulator FINMA said in a
statement on Friday.
The traded call options - agreements that gives the option
to buy the shares at a pre-determined price at a specified date
- are also being investigated by the Federal Bureau of
Roland Leithaeuser, a Frankfurt-based spokesman for Goldman
Sachs, said that the U.S. investment bank is cooperating fully
with the SEC's investigation. Goldman Sachs has not been accused
Heinz, Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital have all declined
The Brazilian founder of 3G, Jorge Paulo Lemann, has made a
home in Switzerland since the 1990s. He has not been implicated
in any wrongdoing related to the deal.