Bristol-Myers Insider Arrest Followed Probe of Deal
U.S. regulators were so suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD)’s Nov. 21 announcement it was buying Pharmasset Inc. for $11 billion that they opened an insider-trading investigation that day.
“The volume was huge and the deal premium was huge, so we looked at the underlying trading,” U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Mary P. Hansen said in a phone interview. “We were looking at anyone who bought shares.”
The probe, which the Justice Department joined, resulted yesterday in the arrest of Robert Ramnarine, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) executive. Ramnarine, 45, was charged with making $311,361 in illegal profit by buying stock options in three companies targeted for acquisition. The SEC, which sued Ramnarine yesterday, is continuing its probe.