FireEye says U.S. regulators review stock trade before Mandiant deal

BOSTON, June 16 Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:19pm EDT

BOSTON, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators are reviewing trading activity in shares of FireEye Inc ahead of its Jan. 2 announcement of its $1 billion purchase of computer forensics firm Mandiant Corp.

FireEye General Counsel Alexa King sent an email on Monday to individuals who had knowledge of the acquisition of the high-profile firm before it was made public, telling them the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, was conducting the inquiry.

Officials with FINRA could not immediately be reached for comment.

An attorney who once served in the agency's enforcement division said FINRA regularly conducts such reviews after every company announcement that could significantly move its share price. The reviews are part of a fraud detection program that FINRA has quietly ramped up over the past few years, the attorney said.

"FINRA requests such as this are very standard," King told Reuters via email.

FireEye shares climbed 37 percent the day after the Mandiant deal was announced and more than doubled over the following two months.

King's email provided a list of more than 300 individuals and investment firms and asked recipients to provide details about any contact they had with them from Oct. 23, 2013 through Jan. 2 of this year, which is the day the deal was announced, including whether those individuals and firms had known about plans for FireEye to acquire Mandiant. (Reporting by Jim Finkle and Emily Flitter; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and David Gregorio)