SEC investigates insider trading at InVision

Friday, March 25, 2005

NEWARK, N.J. - Two days after General Electric announced its plans to acquire InVision Technologies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating alleged insider trading in options on InVision’s stock.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the commission’s request for a temporary restraining order freezing $2 million in assets of unidentified purchasers of call options on shares of InVision. The halt prohibits the purchasers from obtaining proceeds from the sales.

The investigation focuses on trades that occurred in the six days leading up to GE’s public acknowledgment of the sale. Regardless of the inquiry, GE continues with its plans to move forward with its $50-per-share purchase of the manufacturer of explosive-detection systems - another acquisition that marks the company’s growing presence in the security sector.

“It’s obviously too early to say anything definitive,” said Peter Stack, a spokesperson for GE. “But we don’t anticipate that the closing schedule for this transaction will be affected by the SEC inquiry.”

Before the investigation, GE expected to close on the transaction within 120 days.

Stack also mentioned that GE is confident the allegations will not focus on GE affiliates.

“GE has no reason to believe that its employees are subject to the SEC’s inquiries,” he said.

For more on this story see the May issue of Security Systems News.