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A former president of the parent firm of the operator of Don Quijote discount stores is suspected of conveying to an acquaintance information about a capital tie-up involving the company before the announcement of the matter and advising the person to buy its shares, it was learned Thursday.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission raided related locations in November 2019 and summer this year over allegations including insider trading in violation of the financial instruments and exchange law.

The SESC is continuing its investigation, having in mind the possibility of filing a criminal complaint with public prosecutors.

While in office, the 57-year-old former president of the parent firm, Don Quijote Holdings Co., now Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp., allegedly told the acquaintance, who is a company president, that major retailer FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co., now FamilyMart Co., would buy an equity stake of about 20% in Don Quijote Holdings through a tender offer as part of measures to enhance the two groups' alliance, according to sources familiar with the issue.

The person was given the information before the announcement of the tender offer plan in October 2018, the sources said.

Don Quijote Holdings' stock prices shot up on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the announcement of the tender offer.

The company president bought Don Quijote Holdings shares based on the information from the then-president of the holding company, and is believed to have reaped massive profits by selling the shares after the announcement.

The former Don Quijote Holdings president resigned from all group posts in September last year.

A public relations official of Pan Pacific International Holdings said that the company has fully cooperated with the SESC since the commission began its investigation.

The allegations only involve the former president, and current executives and employees of the Pan Pacific International group have nothing to do with the affair, the official added.

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