- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint last week alleging insider trading in the purchase of an Alaska communications company.

The complaint in U.S. District Court involves the purchase of General Communications Inc., Alaska Public Media reported (https://bit.ly/2pxlmqC) Monday. The insider trading charges are connected with the activity of two financial service companies that bought about $48,000 worth of GCI’s stock in March.

The purchases came about two weeks before GCI was bought by the Colorado-based Liberty Interactive Corporation, according to the report. GCI’s stock grew by 62 percent on the day it was bought and the two companies’ holdings became worth more than $1 million, according to the report.

One of the companies is based in the United Kingdom, the other in Lebanon, and neither had traded GCI stock within six months of the purchase, according to court records.

The trades were rapid and the “timing, size and profitability” was “highly suspicious,” according to court records.

The SEC declined to comment beyond what was laid out in court documents. Neither Nomura, the UK-based company, nor Cedrus of Lebanon replied to a request for comment. GCI spokeswoman Heather Handyside also declined to comment.

The allegations don’t appear to have any effect on GCI customers in Alaska or on the status of Liberty’s acquisition, which is expected to be finalized before the end of the year.

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Information from: KTOO-FM, https://www.ktoo.org

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