US officials investigate claims trader used insider information to profit from Activision’s Microsoft deal
US officials have launched an investigation into whether the son of a Belgian fashion designer and a Swiss born aristocrat used insider information to profit off of Microsoft’s $68.7bn acquisition of games developer Activision Blizzard.
US authorities are investigating a meeting between Activision chief executive Bobby Kotick and options trader Alexander von Furstenberg on 14 January, four days before Microsoft said it would acquire the games developer in an all-cash deal on 18 January, according to the Financial Times.
Following a brunch meeting between himself and Activision’s CEO, Alexander von Furstenberg purchased shares in Activision for $40 per share, just days before Microsoft agreed to acquire the games developer for $95 per share.
Alexander von Furstenberg is the son of Belgian fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Swiss born aristocrat Prince Egon von Furstenberg.
Together, the US Securities & Exchanges Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) are seeking to determine whether von Furstenberg used non-public information to profit from buying shares in the Call of Duty developer.
The probe comes after von Furstenberg bought $108m worth shares in Activision for himself and two others – including music mogul David Geffen and US businessman Barry Filler – earning the trio around $60m on completion of Microsoft’s acquisition.
JP Morgan Chase, which executed the transaction, later reported the deal to the authorities, after Microsoft’s takeover was announced.
All three individuals deny any allegations of insider trading.