SEC probing Valeant, Ackman's hostile Allergan bid - WSJ

Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:42pm EDT

Aug 14 (Reuters) - A hostile takeover bid by billionaire investor William Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to acquire Allergan Inc is being investigated by federal regulators for possible violations of securities laws, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission civil probe was focused on potential breaches of insider trading laws, the Journal reported, citing one of the people. (on.wsj.com/1uTJfER)

Earlier this month, Botox maker Allergan accused Valeant and Ackman of violating securities laws by using insider information as they prepared a takeover bid for the drug company.

A Valeant spokeswoman said the company was confident that the "trading was completely lawful."

Representatives from Ackman's Pershing Square Holdings Ltd were not immediately available to comment, while the SEC declined to comment on the news. (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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