US SEC sues unknown traders over Heinz option

Written by Reuters | Updated: Feb 18 2013, 02:29am hrs
US securities regulators filed suit on Friday against unknown traders in the options of ketchup maker HJ Heinz, alleging they traded on inside information before the company announced a deal to be acquired for $23 billion by Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway and Brazils 3G Capital. The suit marks the second time in six months that the SEC has taken legal action for alleged insider trading on a 3G deal.

The suit cites highly suspicious trading in Heinz call options just prior to the February 14 announcement of the deal. The regulator has frequently in past filed suit against unnamed individuals where it has evidence of wrongdoing, but is still trying to uncover the identities of those involved.