“The Securities and Exchange Commission is widening its investigation into Steve Jobs’s handling of stock option grants after it emerged that the Apple chief executive had signed an options package for a Pixar ally during his time running the film company,” Tom Bawden reports for The Times.

Bawden reports, “Mr Jobs, who headed Pixar for 15 years until last May — as well as running Apple for much of the time — in 2001 signed off on a particularly well-timed options grant for John Lasseter, director of hit films such as Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, according to SEC filings.”

“By allegedly backdating the day on which Mr Lasseter was granted the option to buy 1 million Pixar shares by more than three months to December 6, 2000, their lowest point in the previous year, the potential pay-out was significantly increased, the filings show,” Bawden reports.

Bawden reports, “By the close of trading on March 20, 2001, the day before the contract was signed, Pixar’s shares had climbed 24 per cent, increasing Mr Lasseter’s potential profit by $6.4 million.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Thorin” for the heads up.]

SeekingAlpha reports, “Walt Disney Co., Pixar’s current owner, is conducting an internal probe into its options dating practices, and ‘people familiar with the matter’ say federal prosecutors are awaiting its conclusion. Jobs sits on Disney’s board and is its biggest shareholder. The SEC is already investigating Jobs’s role in options backdating at Apple; an internal probe recently cleared him of wrongdoing, but said he ‘was aware or recommended the selection of some favorable grant dates.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Again, a reminder that backdating itself is not illegal, but backdated grants must be disclosed to shareholders and accounted for correctly. The disclosure and accounting practices are the issues in both the Pixar and Apple investigations.

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