U.S. SEC probes Blackberry options trading ahead of Reuters report about Samsung talks

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a January 14 spike in trading in BlackBerry Ltd options that took place hours before Reuters reported that Samsung Electronics Co was in talks to buy the Canadian smartphone maker, according to a person familiar with the investigation,” Charles Levinson reports for Reuters.

“One trade the SEC is looking at took place at 12:06 p.m. on that day, when there was a purchase of options with the rights to buy 200,000 shares of BlackBerry stock at a strike price of $10 a share, the person said,” Levinson reports. “Later that afternoon, Reuters reported that Samsung had offered to buy BlackBerry for as much as $7.5 billion, valuing its stock at between $13.35 to $15.49 per share, a 38 percent to 60 percent premium over BlackBerry’s trading price at the time.”

“The SEC is investigating whether a source of information provided to Reuters bought Blackberry options, according to the person familiar with the investigation,” Levinson reports. “Both companies later denied they were in talks and BlackBerry’s shares tumbled. Reuters subsequently corrected its story to make clear that the discussions were between advisors rather than company officials. There is no indication that Reuters is a target of the investigation.”

Read more in the full article here.

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