Oct 20 The U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission is examining whether hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors
used insider information to profit from Johnson & Johnson's takeover of Cougar Biotechnology Inc in 2009, the Wall
Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The civil inquiry is also looking at whether an "expert
network" business that is part of an investment bank leaked
nonpublic information to traders.
The number of Cougar shares owned by SAC rose to 632,291 as
of March 31, 2009, from 7,800 at the end of 2008, the Journal
said, citing SEC filings. Johnson & Johnson announced its
Cougar deal on May 21 of that year.
Representatives of SAC, Johnson & Johnson and Cougar
declined to comment to the Journal.
The SEC has not accused SAC or the other entities involved
in the Cougar probe of wrongdoing. It is unclear whether the
inquiries, which have been ongoing for more than a year, will
result in any charges, the Journal said.
SAC, Johnson & Johnson, SEC and Cougar were not immediately
available for comment when Reuters contacted them.