FBI officials have started to review a suspicious buyout bid for cosmetics company Avon Products Inc (NYSE:AVP) by purported acquirer PTG Capital Partners, Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The review is in its preliminary stages. The SEC, which was running a separate civil probe, has shared information with the FBI, the people said. (http://on.wsj.com/1e5Sejr)
The apparently non-existent firm on Thursday offered to buy Avon for almost thrice its market valuation.
PTG Capital Partners said in an SEC filing on Thursday that it would pay $18.75 per Avon share, sending the company's stock up as much as 20 percent.
According to the SEC's Edgar company database, PTG is incorporated in British Indian Ocean Territory, an archipelago between Africa and Indonesia with no civilian population, according to the CIA's fact book.
A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said there was no corporate register in this territory.
Avon said it hadn't received any takeover bid.
Officials from FBI were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)