SEC Alleges Insider Trading Ahead of Sanofi's Purchase of Bioverativ

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.S. securities regulators on Friday sued to freeze the profits of people who are alleged to have scored a windfall this week by trading on illegal tips about Sanofi SA's $11.5 billion purchase of hemophilia drugmaker Bioverativ.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the suit in federal district court in Manhattan and said the traders' identities is unknown. The lawsuit seeks an order that would force Credit Suisse, which processed the trades through an account in Zurich, to disclose the traders' names.

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The traders paid about $170,000 for the options and earned about $4.9 million in profit after Bioverativ's price skyrocketed 61% on Monday, when the deal was announced. The SEC said the trades are "highly suspicious" because the bullish option contracts were purchased from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19, one business day before the disclosure that French drugmaker Sanofi would acquire Bioverativ for $105 a share.

The SEC alleged the traders didn't have a prior history of significant trading in Bioverativ options and benefited from inside information to reap their profits. The regulator is seeking that the defendants disgorge their trading gains and pay fines.

Write to Dave Michaels at dave.michaels@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2018 19:39 ET (00:39 GMT)

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