Republican lawmaker to grill U.S. SEC over Ackman tactics

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:10am EDT
 
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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. lawmaker will pressure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday to consider a raft of reforms, after William Ackman's aggressive efforts to take over Allergan Inc raised concerns about loose rules governing disclosure and shareholder voting.

Republican Representative Edward Royce of California plans to grill SEC Corporation Finance Director Keith Higgins at a House Financial Services hearing.

Among his top concerns is a rule that lets investors such as Ackman delay publicly reporting when they have amassed a large stake in a company for days.

"I am especially interested in the SEC’s process when looking at novel or creative deals like the announced joint-bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square for Allergan,” Royce said in a statement.

“Mr. Higgins’ appearance before the committee is an opportunity to make sure that the Commission is making robust reviews of these sorts of deals to ensure strong investor protections and market transparency.”

Saat Alety, Royce's spokesman, said that Royce is prepared to take legislative action if the SEC fails to fix the problem on its own.

UNUSUAL TACTICS   Continued...

 
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst