Feb 17, 2017

Wall Street abuzz over shady trading ahead of Unilever takeover attempt

Kraft-Heinz announced its attempted $143 billion takeover of Unilever early this morning, but it's obvious that many on Wall Street knew of the bid in the hours and days before. Reuters reports that on Wednesday more than 11,100 options contracts on Unilever were traded, compared with roughly 200 on a typical day. The vast majority of those would have paid off if Unilever shares rose, as they did on the news of the offer this morning.

Why it matters: Obama's SEC Chief made fighting insider trading a cornerstone of her tenure. Trump pick Jay Clayton won't likely been sworn in until the summer, but his reaction to this incident, and similar trades before SoftBank's takeover offer to Fortress Investment Group, will provide the first test of how tough a Trump SEC will be on the issue.

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