The business dealings by three influential Democratic megadonors are being reviewed after they were able to buy options to purchase shares in a tech company at $40, just four days before Microsoft said it would buy the company at $95 a share.
The Free Beacon explains those involved are Daily Beast owner Barry Diller, Lincoln Project patron David Geffen and Alex von Furstenberg, a German prince.
The company was Activision Blizzard.
The report explained, “‘Suspicious’ is perhaps too generous a word to describe the three men’s decision to buy roughly $108 million worth of Activision stock options on Jan. 14. The transaction, privately arranged through JPMorgan Chase, allowed the wealthy Democrats to buy more than four million shares of Activision at the bargain price of $40 per share. Four days later, Activision announced that Microsoft would pay $95 per share to acquire the company. Imagine that!”
The Microsoft purchase amounted to some $69 billion, the report said.
Now the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission both have reviews pending of the trading activity.
The report said the three haven’t exercised their options yet, and they don’t expire until 2023.
But, it said, “They could realize a profit of about $60 million if they sold today, based on Activision’s current share price of $80. They stand to make more than $100 million if the Microsoft acquisition, expected to close this summer, goes forward at the agreed-upon price of $95 per share.”
The report noted Diller has donated $2.4 million to Democratic candidates and committees in recent years, and told the Wall Street Journal he was simply “lucky” and did nothing wrong.
According to that report, Activision stock options were only “sparsely traded” in the runup to Microsoft’s announcement.
It said Von Fürstenberg also is a major Democratic donor, having given more than $193,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2016.
And Geffen had given R1.7 million to Democrats.
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