NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an insider trading lawsuit in connection with the recent purchase of U.S. underwater oil services company Global Industries Ltd GLBL.O by France’s Technip SA TECF.PA.
According to the complaint, the unnamed defendants bought Global Industries shares on the two trading days immediately before Technip on September 12 said it would buy the company for $8 per share, a 55 percent premium.
The defendants realized $1.73 million of illegal profit by then selling their shares, according to the complaint.
The SEC said the purchases were made through an account in the name of Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBIV.VI) held at broker-dealer Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
It said the purchases accounted for about 10 percent of daily trading volume in Global Industries, though there was no major publicly available news about the Carlyss, Louisiana-based company.
This “suggests that the information was obtained as a result of breaches of fiduciary duty,” the SEC said.
The complaint seeks to force the defendants to give up their illegal profit and pay civil fines. It was filed late Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Raiffeisen Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The case is SEC v. One or More Unknown Purchasers of Securities of Global Industries Ltd, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-06500.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by John Wallace