September 24, 2019 / 10:57 AM / 20 days ago

Senior SodaStream executive detained in Israeli insider trading probe

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s securities regulator said on Tuesday it was investigating a senior executive at carbonated drink-machine maker SodaStream on suspicion of insider trading prior to its $3.2 billion acquisition by PepsiCo (PEP.O) last year.

The executive, whose name has been placed under a gagging order, was detained on Monday and released after posting bail, but will face further questioning later on Tuesday.

The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) said it is investigating alleged insider trading violations, fraud and breach of trust by the official.

SodaStream said in a statement it was cooperating as needed with investigators. It declined to comment further.

The ISA also said it is investigating a second individual, a former SodaStream employee, for alleged insider trading and obstruction of justice.

The ISA said the former employee used information that was not public, a report on quarterly results and a report on PepsiCo’s plan to buy SodaStream that led to a spike in the share price after they became public, to buy shares for hundreds of thousands of shekels and make a profit of 156,000 shekels ($44,434).

(This story corrects to show executive was detained, not arrested)

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Alexander Smith

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