June 15, 2020 / 7:03 PM / 22 days ago

German watchdog suspects Infineon shares being offered for sale illegally

FILE PHOTO: The logo of semiconductor manufacturer Infineon is seen at its Austrian headquarters in Villach, Austria, June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German financial markets regulator BaFin on Monday said that shares in chip maker Infineon (IFXGn.DE) were being touted illegally using the company’s logo by an unknown investor who had failed to publish an offer prospectus.

“BaFin has reasonable grounds to suspect that shares of Infineon Technologies AG are being publicly offered in Germany by an unknown source without an approved prospectus having been published,” the regulator said on its Web site on Monday.

Failing to issue a prospectus can be penalised with a fine of up to 5 million euros ($5.66 million), BaFin said.

Infineon said share offers had been made without the company’s consent.

“In the course of last week Infineon received various requests from retail investors asking for guidance regarding an offer made by certain companies, unknown to Infineon, to purchase Infineon shares,” the chip maker said.

These offers used the Infineon logo, were made in the name of Infineon as the seller and asked for a purchase price which was significantly lower than the actual market price, Infineon said.

“These offers were made without Infineon’s knowledge and/or consent or authorisation,” the company said in a statement. “Infineon therefore suspects fraudulent activities by unknown parties. Infineon notified BaFin about these activities and was informed by BaFin today of similar activities concerning the shares of other issuers.”

Infineon currently has no plans to issue or sell further shares or other equity instruments.

Reporting by Joern Poltz; Writing by Edward Taylor. Editing by Jane Merriman

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