A spokeswoman for the SEC, Christina D’Amico, said the agency does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations. Representatives for Heinz, Berkshire Hathaway and the public relations agency representing 3G and Berkshire in the deal did not immediately return messages for comment.
In announcing the deal, Heinz said the company planned to remain in Pittsburgh and that the move would help it continue its transformation into a global business more quickly. In addition to ketchup, the company makes Classico pasta sauces and Ore-Ida potatoes, as well as a growing stable of sauces suited to regional tastes around the world.
The New York Times report noted that options trading in Heinz soared this week before the deal was announced Thursday morning. Call options let investors can place a bet on a stock without committing to buy the shares. Investors instead have the option to buy the shares later for a set price.
The report noted that the SEC often opens inquiries into trading activity after major deals without bringing charges later on. Heinz and the buyers haven’t been accused of any wrongdoing.