Norwegian holding company Aker will pay an $8.5 million fine for insider trading in shares of a company it controls, the oil services firm Aker Solution, the holding company said on Friday.
Aker, the holding company, bought the shares just days before Aker Solution sold a major subsidiary, it said. Aker Solution shares rose after the deal, and the holding company profited from the gain.
"This is a case of good intentions, bad execution," said billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke, the biggest shareholder in both companies. "Aker has concluded that it is sensible to reach an agreement ... and accept the penalty notice."
Aker said it had insider information about the sale of the subsidiary but went ahead with a total return swap agreement involving 1.5 million Aker Solutions shares. Aker made a 17 million-crown ($2.83 million) theoretical gain on the deal. Its penalty is confiscation of the profit plus a fine equalling twice the gain.
Aker holds controlling stakes in a plethora of companies, including Aker Solutions and oil services firm Kvaerner
($1 = 5.9970 Norwegian Krones)
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Larry King)