Billionaire Roekke’s Aker Probed by Norway for Insider TradingMikael Holter
Billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke’s Aker ASA is being probed for potentially violating insider trading rules in a November transaction of shares in Aker Solutions ASA.
A case has been turned over to Norway’s economic and environmental crimes authority, the Oslo-based Financial Supervisory Authority said. It would have no further comment.
The investigation centers on a total-return-swap agreement, Aker said in a statement. The swap was extended Nov. 1, three weeks before Aker Solutions, of which Aker is a majority owner, announced asset sales of about $650 million.
“In hindsight, the choice of TRS as a funding solution wasn’t ideal for a long-term investment like this one,” Aker Chairman Roekke said in the statement. “We believe this extension doesn’t represent a breach of insider-trading legislation. Should we nevertheless have done something wrong, the responsibility lies with me.”
Less than a month after the TRS agreement was extended, Aker Solutions, whose Executive Chairman Oeyvind Eriksen is chief executive officer of Aker, announced the sale of its well-interventions services unit for 4 billion kroner ($652 million). A few days later, Aker also acquired about 16.5 million shares in Aker Solutions, or about 6 percent of the company.
Aker, two-thirds owned by Roekke, controls indirectly or directly 34 percent of Aker Solutions.
A total return swap is an agreement by which a party makes payments based on a set rate while the other party makes payments based on the return of an underlying asset.