May 2, 2016 / 9:15 PM / 4 years ago

Silicon Valley executive settles SEC insider trading charges

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - A Silicon Valley executive agreed to pay $534,303 to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges he conducted insider trading in a semiconductor equipment company that was hoping to solicit a competing bid before being sold, the regulator said on Monday.

Peter Nunan, 58, of Monte Sereno, California, was accused of buying 105,000 shares of FSI International Inc while it was in talks to be acquired by Tokyo Electron Ltd (8035.T), based on confidential tips from an FSI director eager for a counteroffer from Japan’s Screen Holdings Co (7735.T).

The SEC said Nunan, then a senior engineering fellow at a Screen Holdings unit, acted as a conduit in passing the director’s tips to a Screen Holdings executive who evaluated potential mergers.

Nunan bought his FSI shares in the six months before the Chaska, Minnesota-based company agreed to be acquired by Tokyo Electron on Aug. 13, 2012, news that caused FSI’s stock price to rise 52 percent, the SEC said. He sold most of his shares a day later, it added.

Under the settlement, Nunan will give up $254,858 of ill-gotten profit, pay a civil fine in the same amount, and pay $24,587 of interest. He did not admit or deny wrongdoing.

A lawyer for Nunan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby

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