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Sunday, December 7, 2014

SEC CHARGES FORMER COO WITH INSIDER TRADING

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
Litigation Release No. 23142 / November 25, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. D. Michael Donnelly, Civil Action No. 4:14-cv-01970 (E.D. Mo., November 25, 2014)
SEC Charges Former Solutia Executive with Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged D. Michael Donnelly, the former Chief Operating Officer of Solutia, Inc., with insider trading in the stock of Solutia based on material non-public information regarding Eastman Chemical Company’s offer to acquire Solutia.  On the morning of January 27, 2012, Solutia and Eastman announced that Eastman would acquire Solutia at an implied value of $27.65 per share for Solutia investors.  At the end of trading on January 27, 2012, Solutia’s stock price closed at $27.51 per share, approximately 41 percent higher than the previous day’s close.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Donnelly knew of Eastman’s interest in acquiring Solutia and learned on November 18, 2011, that Eastman would be submitting an improved offer.  The complaint alleges that between November 18, 2011, and November 22, 2011, Donnelly made multiple purchases of Solutia stock totaling 8,130 shares in brokerage accounts in the names of his children.  The complaint also alleges that between February 2, 2012, and February 8, 2012, Donnelly sold all 8,130 shares of Solutia stock for a profit of $104,391.  The complaint alleges that Donnelly misappropriated this information for his own personal benefit and breached the duty of trust and confidence that he owed to Solutia and its shareholders.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Donnelly agreed to settle the case against him.  The settlement is pending final approval by the court.  Specifically, Donnelly consented to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violations of Sections 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; requiring him to pay disgorgement of $104,391, the amount of his ill-gotten gains, plus prejudgment interest of $8,371.71, and a civil penalty of $104,391; and prohibiting him from serving as an officer and director of a public company.

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