The National Securities Commission (CNMV) has filed a report with the state prosecutor’s office laying out allegations of insider trading against Manuel Fernández de Sousa, who is the chairman of troubled Spanish food processing company Pescanova.
Fernández de Sousa sold 31.5 million euros' worth of shares in Pescanova, about half of his stake, in the months prior to the company revealing in March that its actual debt could be double the amount declared on its books. The company has subsequently filed for protection against its creditors.
The CNMV’s chairwoman, Elvira Rodríguez, said her department had sent the file on Fernández de Sousa to the prosecutor last Thursday. CNMV sources said the watchdog had gathered the information in “record time” because of the “social unrest sparked by the situation at the company.” Pescanova has 10,000 workers worldwide.
The CNMV is continuing with its enquiries into three other possible infractions by Pescanova and its chairman in the past few weeks. These include the failure to inform the CNMV of Fernández de Sousa’s stake in the company; the delay in responding to enquiries from the supervisor; and the failure to hand over its accounts for last year and provide full information on its debt situation.
Fernández de Sousa sold a total of seven percent of Pescanova on different days between December 2012 and February 27 of this year at prices of between 13.60 and 17.56 euros. After Pescanova’s announcement of its debt problems, the shares fell to 5.91 percent. Trading in the stock was then suspended indefinitely at that level.