In a two-sentence statement emailed to The Wall Street Journal, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority confirmed "it received a request for administrative assistance from the SEC in the alleged insider dealings case involving the Heinz transaction."
The Heinz Deal
The statement said Finma always cooperates with the SEC on insider investigations to the extent allowed by the law.
A spokeswoman for Finma, as the agency is commonly known, declined to elaborate on the SEC's request.
On Friday afternoon, a U.S. federal-court judge in New York will hold a hearing related to SEC allegations that someone made options trades based on inside information before the announcement last Thursday of Berkshire Hathaway
Inc. BRKB +0.53%
and private-equity group 3G Capital Inc.'s $23 billion purchase of Heinz, the famous ketchup and mustard maker. The SEC filed a lawsuit the following day alleging traders invested nearly $90,000 in options that would gain in value if Heinz's share price rose, an investment that would reap a profit of more than $1.7 million.
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Heinz, best known for its iconic ketchup, also sells numerous other brands including Classico pasta sauce, Ore-Ida potatoes, and Smart Ones frozen meals.
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The trading came from an account owned by a "private wealth client" ofGoldman Sachs Group
Inc. GS +1.69%
in Switzerland. Goldman hasn't been accused of wrongdoing by the SEC and the bank has said it is cooperating with the investigation.
The identity of the individuals behind the trade remains unclear. Goldman informed the SEC that the bank doesn't have "direct access" to information about who owns the account, according to court documents made public Thursday.
A Zurich-based spokeswoman for Goldman directed inquiries to the bank's Frankfurt office, which oversees operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
"Beyond what Goldman Sachs have said out of New York, namely that it is fully cooperating with the U.S. authorities, we have nothing to say," said Roland Leithaeuser, a Goldman spokesman in Frankfurt.Write to
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