A financier with close ties to President Francois Mitterrand’s government was charged on Friday with insider trading in connection with a state-owned company’s $1.25-billion takeover of a U.S. company, French judicial sources said.
Max Theret, 76, became the sixth person charged in the scandal. On Feb. 16, five people--including Roger-Patrice Pelat, a close friend of Mitterrand--were indicted for allegedly using inside information about plans by the French aluminum firm, Pechiney, to buy Triangle Industries Inc., last November in order to profit on the New York Stock Exchange.
Theret, 76, is a major fund-raiser for Mitterrand’s Socialist Party.
Pelat has admitted buying 10,000 shares of Triangle stock for himself and several other family members for $10 a share but said he did so on a tip from Theret. The Pechiney tender offer catapulted Triangle’s share price up to $56 overnight.
Theret has denied he had inside knowledge of the takeover, saying he got wind of the move from a market tip sheet and that his purchases were merely a coincidence.