The FBI is looking into possible insider trading in the options of ketchup maker HJ Heinz before its blockbuster deal last week to be acquired by Warren Buffett and Brazil's 3G Capital, a bureau spokesman has said.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G said last Thursday that they would buy Heinz for $23bn in cash.
Almost immediately, options market players noted there had been extremely unusual activity the day before the deal was announced.
"The FBI is aware of the trading anomalies the day before Heinz' announcement," a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday. "The FBI is consulting with the SEC to determine if a crime was committed."
On Friday, the SEC filed a suit against unknown traders who it said used a Goldman Sachs account in Switzerland to trade on purported inside knowledge of the transaction.