You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

SEC opens investigation into Heinz deal


By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators have opened an insider trading inquiry on the $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz, according to a publish report.

Citing an unnamed source who was briefed on the matter, The New York Times reported Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at “unusual trading” surrounding the deal for Heinz to be purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, an investment firm that also recently bought Burger King. The report said regulators first noticed a suspicious spike in trading on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the SEC, Christina D’Amico, said the agency does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations. Representatives for Heinz, Berkshire Hathaway and the public relations agency representing 3G and Berkshire in the deal did not immediately return messages for comment.

In announcing the deal, Heinz said the company planned to remain in Pittsburgh and that the move would help it continue its transformation into a global business more quickly. In addition to ketchup, the company makes Classico pasta sauces and Ore-Ida potatoes, as well as a growing stable of sauces suited to regional tastes around the world.

Heinz employs about 1,200 in Ohio, including an undisclosed number in Mason.

The New York Times report noted that options trading in Heinz soared this week before the deal was announced Thursday morning. Call options let investors can place a bet on a stock without committing to buy the shares. Investors instead have the option to buy the shares later for a set price.

The report noted that the SEC often opens inquiries into trading activity after major deals without bringing charges later on. Heinz and the buyers haven’t been accused of any wrongdoing.

The year has been shaping up to be a promising one for mergers. U.S. mergers total $219 billion year-to-date, which is the fastest start to a year since 2000, according to Dealogic. At the same time last year, mergers had totaled just $85 billion.

Globally, merger activity has been tepid since 2007 when there were $4.6 trillion in deals. Last year’s total was $2.7 trillion.

One of the reasons activity is picking up is that financing deals is cheap, with interest rates near record lows. Companies are also sitting on piles of cash, with those in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index holding nearly $1 trillion on their books.

Another reason to buy? After years of slashing expenses and squeezing more work out of remaining staff, companies are struggling to grow earnings.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall
Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall

The Upper Valley Mall will be the center of area fashion on Sunday, June 25. The second “Fashion. Forward. Fusion.” Fashion Show will gather designers from Springfield, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus to showcase their latest offerings, 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the former MC Sports location. READ MORE: Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County...
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map

Snapchat is introducing a new way to locate your friends with the Snap Map.  The social media platform announced the news this week, revealing that the location-sharing feature will allow friends to find each other or anyone in the world using its map.  “We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your...
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show

Record rainfall on Friday is forcing coordinators of the Vectren Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport to direct people today to alternative and paved parking sites. Two years ago, monsoon-like heavy rains pummeled the first day of the air show, causing many vehicles to become mired in muddy, grassy parking spots near the airport. Air...
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger is hiring for 800 open positions at all Kroger locations. The grocery retailer is looking for new employees during a hiring event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all Kroger stores. Positions are open in the following departments: deli, bakery, meat and seafood, Starbucks, grocery and ClickList. Interested applicants...
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County

Clark County residents have a chance to take part in a new fitness craze, goat yoga, which combines traditional yoga with baby goats. The Smiling Prairie Goat Farm, 9697 Chenoweth Rd., South Charleston, is offering classes this summer. The next class will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The cost is $25 a person. Sisters Jeri LaVielle and Linda Leonhard...
More Stories