Blackstone Exec. Charged With Insider Trading

Jan 14 2009 | 1:01pm ET

Ramesh Chakrapani, a Blackstone Group managing director involved in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions advisory unit, has been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading.

According to the complaint, Chakrapani was tipped off by a friend about the acquisition of supermarket chain Albertsons in 2006 by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management before the deal was publicly announced.  The SEC says Chakrapani earned $3.6 million in illegal profits trading on the insider information.

“We are shocked by this alleged breach of the law and violation of our own compliance policies and ethical standards,” said Peter Rose, spokesman for Blackstone.

The original acquisition, valued at $17.4 billion, included splitting up the Albertsons stores between a consortium of buyers, including Supervalu, drugstore chain CVS and New York-based Cerberus. At that time, Albertsons was the nation’s second-largest supermarket chain. The SEC says that Chakrapani’s Blackstone team advised Albertson’s on the deal.

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