UPDATE 1-SEC sues unknown buyers of Martek securities

Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:52pm EST

* Bought call options shortly before deal news-SEC

* Martek to be acquired by DSM for $1.1 billion

SAN FRANCISCO Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators sued "unknown purchasers" of Martek Biosciences Corp MATK.O securities for trading activity shortly before news of Martek's acquisition by DSM (DSMN.AS) became public this week.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged the unknown purchasers sold call options on Tuesday, the same day vitamins maker DSM announced it would buy baby ingredients company Martek for $1.1 billion.

The purchasers acquired the options between Dec 10-15, putting them in a position to realize total profits of approximately $1.2 million from their sale.

Representatives for Martek and DSM were not immediately available for comment. Neither company was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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