French authority investigates trading of Danone shares

by Jeff Gelski
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PARIS — France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers, or financial market authority, announced July 26 that it informally is probing the trading shares of Grupo Danone SA in recent weeks.

Danone reported it was aware of the investigations and would respond to any questions from the Autorite des Marches. The market authority also said a French association representing minority shareholders filed a complaint alleging share-price manipulation of Danone’s stock.

Danone’s price per share was trading below €88 ($106.25) on the French stock market at the start of July 19. Rumors of a possible PepsiCo takeover bid apparently affected Danone’s share price, which rose as high as €96.25 ($116.20) on July 20.

The price per share started falling once Danone reported July 21 that first-half profit for the fiscal year dropped 37%.

PepsiCo then informed Autorite des Marches Financiers on July 25 that it was not preparing a bid for Danone. Price per share for Danone closed at €84.45 ($101.95) on July 26. MBN

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