NEW YORK — An executive with the Blackstone Group tipped off a financial analyst that the Albertsons chain was about to be sold, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors.
Blackstone, a leading investment and advisory firm, had been retained by Albertsons in 2005 to market the chain for sale. It was sold to a consortium of private investors, Supervalu and CVS early in 2006.
According to the suit, filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ramesh Chakrapani, a director at Blackstone, tipped off an unnamed financial analyst who in turn either tipped off or traded in an account held by his parents, netting around $3.6 million in profits after Albertsons stock and options were sold.
“We are shocked by this alleged breach of the law and violation of our own compliance policies and ethical standards,” Peter Rose, a spokesman for Blackstone, told SN. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities in this investigation.”
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