German regulator launches insider trading probe

16 April 2009

Germany's market regulator the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) has launched a probe into possible insider trading involving shares in the pay-TV broadcaster Premiere.

The investigation centers on trades that may be linked to a correction in the company's subscription base, a spokeswoman for the watchdog told Reuters.

In October 2008, Premiere announced it was changing the method it uses for counting subscribers. As a result, its registered customer base fell by 940,000 compared to the previous classification.

At the end of the third quarter, Premiere said it had 2.4 million direct subscribers plus a further 704,000 wholesale customers.

The company told Reuters that it was aware of Bafin's probe but would not comment further while the investigation is in progress.

Premiere is currently implementing a restructuring plan that will see the company attempt to raise €525 million ($689 million) through two issues of new shares.

The subscription window for the second rights issue will close on April 17th.

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