US Regulator Sues Companies Over Avon Bogus Buyout Offer

NEW YORK (AP) -

A U.S. regulator that oversees stock markets has sued several financial companies, saying they tried to manipulate the stock of Avon Products Inc. and two other companies through bogus takeover offers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in the lawsuit Thursday in New York City federal court that the companies used the SEC’s public database to announce false offers.

Avon shares jumped up to 20 percent in mid-May after a takeover offer appeared on a website maintained by the regulator.

The SEC accused the companies of violating securities laws. The companies included PTG Capital, which the SEC says has identified itself as being located in London but which actually operates out of Bulgaria. The SEC says the company seems formed only to manipulate stocks. PTG Capital hasn’t responded to requests for comment.