For Sanofi, snapping up Biogen spinout Bioverativ for $11.6 billion bolstered its rare disease franchise by adding hemophilia drugs Eloctate and Alprolix. But for a Swiss man, catching an early whiff of the deal has allegedly brought some illegal gains—and now, a civil and a criminal case in the U.S.
Roland Mathys, 32, is charged with insider trading before Sanofi’s Bioverativ acquisition, U.S. prosecutors unveiled Thursday. Using nonpublic information from a Sanofi executive vice president, the Swiss businessman allegedly bought 1,607 Bioverativ call options over a week in January 2018 and profited more than $4.7 million after the company’s stock soared at the official acquisition news later that month.
The indictment against Mathys carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, said in a statement. Separately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought a parallel civil case against him.
According to the U.S. attorney, a Sanofi EVP told his son that the French pharma was acquiring Bioverativ. The son then disclosed the information to Mathys, who’s a close friend and former co-worker. Mathys immediately bought Bioverativ call options with strike prices between $65 to $75 apiece for a total of about $170,000, the suit claims.
Before that, Bioverativ’s shares had never closed at or above $64.12 since the company had started trading on Nasdaq, the suit notes. The final price Sanofi was offering? $105 per share, as the pair unveiled on Jan. 22.
The prosecutors didn’t name the Sanofi executive or his son as defendants in the suit. According to the now-disclosed indictment, they are both citizens of Switzerland and Italy.
It’s not yet clear whether Sanofi has been aware of the situation or has taken any action, given that the SEC moved to freeze Mathys’ proceeds in February of last year. The company didn’t immediately reply to a FiercePharma request for comment.
The entire Sanofi C-suite has gone through a dramatic makeover in the past year or so, and it will soon welcome a new CEO in former Novartis pharma chief Paul Hudson to replace Olivier Brandicourt. But an examination of the company’s exec roster did turn up only one name that at least matches the citizenship description.
That person is Roberto Pucci, Sanofi’s former EVP and head of human resources. The timing of his departure also matches up. Last July, Sanofi announced Pucci’s retirement from the company at the age of 54 after more than nine years of service with the company. At that time, Brandicourt praised him as “an excellent partner in our journey to reshape the organization to align with Sanofi’s evolving business ambitions and a great coach to our team.”
What’s more, in the unnamed exec’s conversation with his son, i.e., Mathys’ friend, he “spoke of how busy he expected to be in the coming weeks as a result” of the buy, according to the SEC complaint. An HR chief would also presumably be busy as two companies merge and integrate.
In a declaration Mathys made at the request of his handler at Credit Suisse on Jan. 26, he stated that the Bioverativ transactions were made “only on publicly available information and/or personal market analysis,” and that he was surprised by the success, the U.S. attorney said. But later, he acknowledged the insider trading to the friend.
“[T]he friend told Mathys that not only was Mathys in trouble for his trades, but that the friend and his father, the Sanofi insider, could also be in trouble because of Mathys’ trading in Bioverativ,” the SEC said in its complaint. “Mathys did not deny the SEC’s allegations, and did not offer alternative reasons for his trades, but instead apologized to the friend for creating trouble for the friend and the Sanofi insider.”
对赛诺菲（Sanofi）来说，以116亿美元收购百健（Biogen）公司的 Biovertiv ，通过添加血友病药物 Elocate 和 Alpolix ，巩固了其罕见疾病的优势。但对于一名瑞士人来说，早些时候抓住这笔交易的一小部分，据称带来了一些非法收益——现在，美国的民事和刑事案件。
32岁的罗兰·马蒂斯( Roland Matheys )被控在赛诺菲（Sanofi）收购 Biovertiv 之前进行内幕交易。这位瑞士商人利用赛诺菲（Sanofi）执行副总裁提供的非公开信息，据称于2018年1月在一周内购买了1607份 Biovertiv 看涨期权，在该公司股价在官方收购消息公布后大幅上涨之后，获利超过470万美元。
纽约南区联邦检察官杰弗里·伯曼( GeoffreyBerman )在一份声明中说，对马蒂斯的起诉书最高可判20年监禁，最高可处500万美元罚款。另外，美国证券交易委员会（ SEC ）也对他提起了类似的民事诉讼。
据美国律师说，赛诺菲（Sanofi）执行副总裁告诉他的儿子，法国制药公司正在收购 Biovertiv 。儿子随后向马修斯透露了这些信息，马修斯是他的亲密朋友和前同事。起诉书称， Matheys 立即以每股65美元至75美元的价格购买了 Biovertiv 看涨期权，总价值约为17万美元。
诉讼指出，在此之前， Biovertiv 的股价从未收于或超过64.12美元，因为该公司已开始在纳斯达克交易。赛诺菲（Sanofi）的最终报价是多少？每股105美元，正如两人1月22日公布的那样。
鉴于去年2月 SEC 采取行动冻结 Mathiys 的收益，目前尚不清楚赛诺菲（Sanofi）是否已意识到这一情况，或已采取任何行动。该公司没有立即回复 FiercePharma 的置评请求。
在过去一年左右的时间里，整个赛诺菲（Sanofi） C 套件经历了戏剧性的转型，不久将迎来诺华（Novartis）制药( Novartis )前首席执行官保罗·哈德森( Paul Hudson )接替奥利维尔·白兰度考特( Olivier Brandicourt )。但对该公司执行董事名册的审查结果只列出了一个至少与公民身份描述相符的名字。
他是赛诺菲( Sanofi )前执行副总裁兼人力资源主管罗伯特•普奇( Roberto Pucci )。他离开的时间也是匹配的.去年7月，赛诺菲（ Sanofi ）宣布普奇（ Pucci ）在为该公司服务9年多后，于54岁退休。当时， Brandicourt 称赞他是“我们重塑组织的过程中的一个优秀合作伙伴，以与赛诺菲（Sanofi）不断发展的商业雄心保持一致，并为我们的团队提供出色的教练。”
此外，根据 SEC 的诉状，在这位未透露姓名的高管与他的儿子（即马蒂斯的朋友）的谈话中，他“谈到了他预计在未来几周因收购交易而忙碌的程度”。随着两家公司合并和整合，一位人力资源主管可能也会忙得不可开交。
这位美国律师说，应瑞士信贷( Credit Suisse )处理人员的要求， Mathys 在一份声明中表示， Biovertiv 的交易“仅基于公开的信息和/或个人市场分析”，他对成功感到惊讶。但后来，他承认了这位朋友的内幕交易。
SEC 在诉状中表示：“（ T ）他的朋友告诉马修斯，马修斯不仅在交易中遇到麻烦，而且他的朋友和他的父亲，赛诺菲（Sanofi）的内幕人士，也可能因为马修斯在 Biovertiv 的交易而陷入麻烦。”“ Matheys 没有否认 SEC 的指控，也没有为自己的交易提供其他理由，而是向这位朋友道歉，因为这位朋友和赛诺菲（Sanofi）的内幕人士制造了麻烦。”