September 24, 2019 / 2:18 PM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-Former SodaStream CEO detained in Israeli insider trading probe

(Recasts with name of executive)

JERUSALEM, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Israel’s securities regulator said on Tuesday it was investigating Daniel Birnbaum, the chairman and former CEO of fizzy drink-machine maker SodaStream, on suspicion of insider trading prior to the company’s purchase by PepsiCo last year.

Birnbaum, who stepped down as CEO last month and then became SodaStream’s chairman, was detained for questioning on Monday and released after posting a 1.2 million shekel ($343,240) guarantee. He is being questioned further on Tuesday.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call from Reuters seeking comment.

The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) said it was investigating alleged insider trading violations, fraud and breach of trust by the official.

SodaStream said in a statement it was cooperating as needed with investigators. It declined to comment further.

PepsiCo bought SodaStream for $3.2 billion in 2018.

The ISA also said it was investigating a former SodaStream employee, whose name remains under a gag order, for alleged insider trading and obstruction of justice.

The ISA said the former employee used information that was not public, a report on quarterly results and a report on PepsiCo’s plan to buy SodaStream that led to a spike in the share price after they became public to buy shares for hundreds of thousands of shekels and make a profit of 156,000 shekels.

SodaStream’s shares had been traded in both New York and Tel Aviv, but were delisted after PepsiCo’s purchase.

$1 = 3.5108 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter

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