William Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW)’s group treasurer was arrested as part of an insider-trading probe in December, a person familiar with the investigation said.
Paul Coyle, who is also the company’s head of tax, was detained by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority in Harrogate, England, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is confidential. He was arrested on suspicion of buying shares in Ocado Group Plc (OCDO) ahead of a public announcement about a partnership between the retailer and Morrison, the person said.
Coyle’s arrest isn’t related to any previous FCA investigation, the regulator said at the time. Ocado entered into a 25-year agreement to help Morrison start an online grocery service that began operations this month.
James French, a spokesman for Bradford, England-based Morrison, declined to comment as did David Cross at the FCA in London. Coyle didn’t answer a call to office at the company. The Telegraph reported the arrest yesterday.
Insider dealing is punishable by a fine or as much as seven years in prison.
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