Market Minute: FBI Investigates Potential Insider Trading in Warren Buffett's Heinz Deal


By Emily Flitter

NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters)
- The FBI is looking into alleged insider trading in the options of ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co (HNZ) before its blockbuster acquisition last week by Warren Buffett and Brazil's 3G Capital, a bureau spokesman said on Tuesday.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) and 3G said last Thursday they would buy Heinz for $23 billion in cash. Almost immediately, options market players noted extremely unusual activity the day before the deal.

Warren BuffettOn Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against unknown traders who it said used a Goldman Sachs (GS) account in Switzerland to trade on purported inside knowledge of the transaction.

On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was joining in as well.

"The FBI is aware of the trading anomalies the day before Heinz' announcement," a spokesman said. "The FBI is consulting with the SEC to determine if a crime was committed."

A spokeswoman for the investor group declined to comment on the FBI's involvement. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said the bank is cooperating with authorities' investigations.

Swiss authorities have already said they have not been asked to help with the U.S. investigation.

The SEC enforcement action marked the second time in six months regulators had taken aim at alleged insider trading in a deal involving 3G. The first instance, last September, involved a stockbroker trading on inside information related to 3G's 2010 purchase of Burger King (BKW).


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

Reading a Stock Quote

Learn to read the ingredients of a stock.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

6 Comments

Filter by:
chris1011

Republicans inherited a surplus from Clinton.

Republicans started 2 wars and cut taxes for the first time in recorded human history.

Republicans gave out huge taxcuts with not only no government cuts but huge expansion

When Treasury Sec Paul Oneill warned of huge debt he was fired. with Cheney saying, \"You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don\'t matter.\"

Bush Fired anouther top economic adavisor Larry Lindsey for Saying the War Might Cost $100 Billion a low ball estimate

Republicans created the huge boondoggle comically redundant \"Homeland Security\"

Republicans passed Medicare Part D with no cost controls and ompletely unfinded

Republicans allowed the too big to fail banks defraud the world and bring US to the brink of another great Depression

Bush and Paulson threatened congress with martial law in the US and a world wide depression if they didnt sign TARP

Paulson Former CEO of Goldman Sacs not only gave Goldmans the lions share of TARP but put them in charge it.

Republicans are not only dishonest ,delusional and hypocritical to a depraved degree they seem to be constitutionally incapable of honesty.

February 22 2013 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gmydogbud

Insider Trading - Not too worry, the members of Congress engaged in Insider Trading For - Y - E - A - R - S- ---Became Multi Millionaires & It Was Just Fine !! Not one of them went to Jail!!!

February 20 2013 at 5:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gmydogbud's comment
Frank

THEY called it "priviledged information"...not insider trading. What a crock.

February 21 2013 at 8:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
roborose2005

still having tech difficulties?

February 20 2013 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
am0714

What about the Carlyle group ? Why do we never hear about them in the news? Do they have the 'code of silence' to keep them going.

February 20 2013 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
robertp551

Isn't heinz still owned by John Kerrys morrocan wife?

February 20 2013 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to robertp551's comment
roborose2005

It's comments like this that support the idea of an I.Q. test before allowing people to join in these discussions.

February 20 2013 at 12:14 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
roborose2005

technical difficulties?

February 20 2013 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle

Really....which means all your political and wealthiest americans need to be investigated!!!!

February 20 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bchrist751

Buffet buys himself insurance by talking the liberal talk.... It's OK to be wealthy .... as long as your a Democrat.

February 20 2013 at 9:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
c2t2beau

Oh get off Mr. Buffet back,, how do you think he give so much to Charites.

February 20 2013 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to c2t2beau's comment
cpo1514

The Obama charity, The Moochelle Charity, The Progressive Party Charity, etc... all Lib causes///

February 20 2013 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jrb359

A good example of who the people are that actually run the country. Buffet has nothing to worry about with this administration. They will do nothing about this no matter how many facts they uncover.

February 20 2013 at 6:46 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrb359's comment
roborose2005

still having technical difficulties?

February 20 2013 at 12:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
kentusm

It will go no where --- Eric Holder will never authorize an indictment.... Now, if they were Republicans, the press would already have them, indicted, found gulity and in prison... This is the most corrupt administration I have ever seen or even heard of. I can't believe the FBI Director hasn't them to shove it by now. You will never hear another word about his.

February 19 2013 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply