Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Monday, July 18, 2011

SEC Obtains Asset Freezes After Alleged Insider Trading by Three Swiss Entities

The SEC obtained asset freezes and other emergency relief against three Swiss-based entities it has charged with insider trading ahead of a July 11 public announcement that Swiss-based Lonza Group Ltd would be acquiring Connecticut-based Arch Chemicals Inc.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Compania International Financiera S.A., Coudree Capital Gestion S.A., and Chartwell Asset Management Services purchased more than a million common shares of Arch between July 5 and July 8, mostly in accounts based in London, England.  Immediately after the acquisition announcement on July 11, the firms began selling the recently-purchased shares of Arch common stock for millions of dollars in profits. 

In filing its complaint, the SEC requested emergency relief noting that because the defendants are foreign entities and placed their trades in overseas accounts, there was a substantial risk that, upon clearance at U.S. brokerage firms, the proceeds of the trades would likely be transferred overseas.  Among other things, the court’s order froze certain assets of the defendants and ordered repatriation of all assets obtained from the trading described in the SEC’s complaint. The court has scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing in this matter for July 25 at 10 a.m. ET.

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