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Sun 26 Jul 2009 07:01 PM

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The Harman tender offer hoax

Kuwaiti financier Hazem Al-Braikan found dead at home on Sunday, days after he was sued by the US securities regulator (SEC) for allegedly profiting from "fraudulent" takeover reports.

The Harman tender offer hoax
HAZEM Al-BRAIKAN: Kuwaiti financier reported dead by police sources Sunday. (Getty Images)

Kuwaiti financier Hazem Al-Braikan was found dead in his home on Sunday, days after he was sued by the US securities regulator (SEC) for allegedly profiting from "fraudulent" takeover reports.The regulators sued Al-Braikan, head of a Kuwaiti investment firm, for the return of millions of dollars in profits reaped after false takeover rumours sent shares of Harman International Industries Inc and Textron Inc soaring.

The following is a timeline of events:

June 1: Al-Raya begins buying shares of Harman $19.04-$20.14.

June 4: Al-Braikan opens account at DLJ Pershing $19.08-$19.98.

June 8: Al-Braikan signs option and margin agreements on account that allow purchase of call option $19.71-$20.48.

June 10: KAMCO begins buying Harman International stock $20.98-$22.46.

July 7: United Gulf buys 300 out-of-the-money August $20 call option contracts for Harman stock $17.61-$18.01.

July 8: United Gulf buys 300 out-of-the-money August $22.50 call contracts for Harman stock $17.82-$18.36.

July 13: Al-Braikan transfers $2.4 million into the DLJ Pershing account, begins buying Harman stock $20.27-$21.67.

July 14: Al-Braikan transfers another $500,000 to DLJ account and buys thousands more Harman shares, bringing total to 267,600 shares $21.03-$22.99.

July 15: United Gulf buys 975 August $25 call options $22.37-$23.48.

July 16: United Gulf buys 130 more August $25 calls $23.23-$24.44.

July 17: Al-Braikan buys 500 August $25 calls, giving him ability to buy 50,000 Harman shares at $25.

Al-Raya stops purchasing Harman shares, having amassed 247,000 shares worth near $5.2 million. KAMCO stops buying Harman shares, having amassed 372,400 shares. $23.77-$25.25.

July 17: Harman shares close at $25.18 on NYSE on Friday.

July 19 (midday): Reuters news agency receives fax purporting to be tender offer for Harman stock.

Reuters does not issue news story based on the fax as reporters were unable to verify its authenticity.

July 20 (early morning) - A report about the purported tender offer appears on AMEInfo.com. $20.54-$27.71.

July 20, 8:32 a.m.: TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports Arabian Peninsula Group "is said to" announce plans to acquire Harman in a public tender offer, citing AMEInfo.com report.

July 20, 8:42 a.m.: Story on MidNightTrader.com reports Harman shares jumped in pre-market trade on the report of a buyout offer.

July 20, 9:23 a.m.: Harman International issues a statement saying it had not received any communication from any parties mentioned in media reports on a tender offer.

July 20 (after Internet reports of tender offer appear): United Gulf Bank sells entire position in Harman call options for more than $400,000 profit.

July 20 (time unknown): Al-Braikan sells his entire position of 341,000 shares of Harman International, including 50,000 shares purchased that day, for a profit of about $1.15 million.

He also sells his entire position of 500 call option contracts for a profit of nearly $29,000.

Al-Raya sells entire position of 247,000 shares of Harman shares for a profit of about $1 million.

KAMCO sells entire position of Harman stock for a profit of at least $1.9 million.

July 23: US SEC files complaint in district court.

July 26: Kuwait police say Al-Braikan was found shot dead at his home in an apparent suicide.

Source: SEC complaint, media reports, Reuters data and records.

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