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Acer coughs to insider trading probe on 2 staffers

Taiwanese prosecutors storm HQ, firm says it has always been 'honest, law abiding'

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Senior execs implementing a turnaround strategy at sickly PC maker Acer have another plate to spin after prosecutors stormed the firm's HQ in Taiwan over an insider trading probe.

Ten peeps, some of whom are still employed by the firm, were held and quizzed about the alleged offence, according to the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

Those folk are suspected of "violating the Securities and Exchange Act" and "conducting insider trading".

The local Central News Agency claimed some fund managers offloaded their stakes in Acer before the sudden exit of former CEO JT Wang and president Jim Wong.

A spokesman at Acer told us: "We are working with the authorities in cooperation with the investigation process on alleged insider stock trading by two employees' individual action.

"Today, the authorities took from the Acer headquarters in Xizhi, Taiwan, related documents and information. Acer is cooperating fully with the investigation and hopes to clarify the matter as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

This development comes at a time when Acer is trying to rebuild the business following three consecutive years of losses caught out by the slowdown in consumer demand for lappies, the industry shift to tabs and was forced to write-down of millions of pounds of stock.

The investigation serves as an unwanted distraction for CEO Jason Chen, his lieutenants and chairman Stan Shih, who came out of retirement last year to sketch out the turnaround plan.

Acer told us it has "always operated honestly as a law abiding company" and that staffers are obviously expected to follow the law and regulations. ®

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