Insider trading: the AMF sentences Marie Brizard shareholders to 18 million euros in penalties

Posted on Apr 29, 2021, 7:48 PMUpdated Apr 29, 2021, 8:31 PM

18 million euros. The sanction pronounced against the first agro-food group of Morocco, Diana Holding, and its boss, Rita Zniber, is among the highest sanctions pronounced by the judge of the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers). Diana Holding was ordered this Thursday by the Sanctions Commission to pay 10 million euros to the Treasury; its leader, 6 million euros. Both shareholders of Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) were sanctioned for having committed insider trading. They bought shares of the French company while they were in possession of inside information.

The crimes were committed in 2015. MBWS (formerly Belvédère), which avoided judicial liquidation, then encountered serious financial difficulties. At the end of 2014, the Moroccan Diana Holding took over 13% of the capital. In May 2015, it allied itself with DF Holding, controlled by the Castel family (owner of the wine merchant Nicolas), which, shortly before, had bought from the KKR fund, a block of 5%. Together, the two shareholders want to take power at MBWS. But the arrival, in June 2015, of Cofepp (the European financial company for equity investments, parent company of La Martiniquaise and Bardinet spirits) made “this putsch attempt” fail. Cofepp now holds more than 70% of the capital.

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