According to the SEC, the banker bought out-of-the-money
call options before the August 17 announcement by Potash that
it had received and rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal
from BHP Billiton.
After the announcement Potash’s stock rose
27.7%, giving Fernandez Garcia a profit of about $576,000.
The complaint describes Fernandez Garcia as Madrid-based
head of European equity derivatives at Banco Santander. The
Spanish bank advised BHP Billiton in connection with its tender
offer, states the complaint.
The bank said it was awaiting the results of both internal
and the supervisors’ investigations and that
provisionally, the employee concerned had been suspended.