Authorities probing alleged insider trading in lead up to Vitaco takeover

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Nutra-Life vitamins is one of Vitaco's brands.
Nutra-Life vitamins is one of Vitaco's brands.

Related tags Australia

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is investigating alleged suspicious trading in the run-up to the announcement of a takeover at Australian supplement firm Vitaco.

It was revealed in August that Shanghai Pharma and Primavera Capital had lodged a $314m bid for the company, which includes Nutra-Life vitamins among its brands.

The alleged insider trading does not involve anyone from Vitaco, the company told The Australian​.

“Vitaco also assures shareholders that it is fully co-operating with ASIC in relation to its investigations and is committed to ensuring an efficient and informed market with respect to trading in its securities,” ​it added.

Last week we reported the company had cleared a number of regulatory hurdles​, paving the way for its takeover by the Chinese investors. 

The country’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has said the Australian government has no objections to the deal.

Vitaco also announced that its prospective new owners have received approval from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the Shanghai Municipal Government to implement the takeover scheme.

“The process of satisfying the remainder of the conditions in order for the scheme to be implemented is underway and satisfaction of such conditions will be announced to the ASX in due course,”​ Vitaco said in a statement.

The scheme remains subject to a number of customary conditions including the approval of Vitaco’s shareholders and the Federal Court of Australia, as well as approval from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

The firm does not believe the current probe will hold up the sale.

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