Former Don Quijote CEO Arrested on Insider Trading Charges

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The former chief executive officer of Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp., the operator of popular discount chain store Don Quijote, has been arrested on charges of insider trading in 2018, according to an announcement from the Tokyo District Court.

Koji Ohara, who left his post as CEO of the company in September 2019, was arrested by prosecutors Thursday on charges of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act in Japan. Don Quijote Holdings Co. formally changed its name to Pan Pacific International in early 2019.

Ohara is alleged to have on multiple occasions recommended the purchase of his company’s stock to an acquaintance, with the aim of profiting before Familymart UNY Holdings Co. announced it intended to acquire a stake in Don Quijote, according to the court. The acquaintance allegedly bought 76,500 shares of Don Quijjote for around 430 million yen ($4.1 million) between early September to early October in 2018.

Familymart UNY Holdings, now known as Familymart Co., announced a bid to acquire 20% of Don Quijote’s shares in October 2018.

Last year it was announced Ohara would leave his post as CEO to head up a company called Pan Pacific Retail Management (USA) Co. However, the firm later said Ohara resigned on Sept. 25, 2019.

Pan Pacific reiterated in a statement on Thursday that it was cooperating with authorities after an investigation started in November 2019. In October, domestic media outlets reported that a former chief executive at the company was being probed on suspicion of involvement in illegal equity trading.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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