Thursday, July 18, 2013

SEC Freezes Assets Of Insider Traders in Onyx Pharmaceuticals

The SEC obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of traders using foreign accounts to reap approximately $4.6 million in potentially illegal profits by trading in advance of the Sunday, June 30, 2013 announcement that Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. had received, but rejected an acquisition offer from Amgen, Inc.

The SEC alleges that unknown traders took risky bets that Onyx's stock price would increase by purchasing call options on June 26, 27 and 28, the three trading days before the announcement. Through quick, cross country coordination between the agency's Los Angeles and New York offices, the SEC took emergency action to freeze the traders' assets before courts closed for the holiday.

"This action demonstrates that the SEC will not hesitate to freeze the assets of suspicious foreign traders when the timing and size of their trades indicate that they were misusing inside information, and use of foreign accounts will not dissuade us," said Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office.

According to the SEC's complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, on June 30, 2013 Onyx announced that it had received, but rejected, an unsolicited proposal from Amgen to acquire all of Onyx's outstanding shares and share equivalents for $120 per share in cash. The Announcement also stated that Onyx's board of directors rejected Amgen's proposal and that Onyx had authorized its financial advisors to contact potential acquirers who may have an interest in a transaction with Onyx. Amgen's $120 per share price offer represented a 38% premium to Onyx's closing share price on Friday June 28, 2013. The complaint further alleges that as a result of the announcement, Onyx's share price increased from a close of $86.82 on over 51% on Monday July 1 compared with the prior trading day's closing price, and that the trading volume of its stock increased by over 900% that day. The complaint alleges that the traders, as a result of these well-timed trades, collectively earned a profit of approximately $4.6 million in just three days.

For more information, visit SEC Freezes Assets Of Insider Traders in Onyx Pharmaceuticals.


The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including the defense of enforcement actions. We represent firms and brokers nationwide. For more information contact Mark Astarita at 212-509-6544 or at

Enhanced by Zemanta