Amadeusz Juskowiak

Sec probes 1986 tre tre takeover attempt

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission SEC is looking for possible securities laws violations in connection with an unsuccessful 1986 bid by Hollywood producer Burt Sugarman to take over TRE Corp attorneys contacted by SEC investigators said

During the takeeover attempt a unit of Sugarmans Giant Group Ltd at one point held a 99 pct stake in TRE

It had help in that effort from Jefferies Group Inc a Los Angeles investment banking firm which sold it an option on a portion of the shares Sugarman eventually acquired

In addition a company controlled by Sugarman raised 35 mln dlrs in a debt offering underwritten by Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc with help from Jefferies and used a portion of the proceeds to buy TRE stock

Finally Reliance Group Holdings Inc acquired nearly six pct of TRE according to an SEEC filing

The attorneys who asked not to be identified said the SEC was investigating whether Sugarman and other firms with TRE holdings were working together without disclosing their cooperation as would be required by the federal securities laws

One attorney said SEC probers also were examining whether Sugarman and Drexel had made adequate disclosures of its intended usage of the proceeds in the prospectus for the 35 mln dlr bond offering

A TRE spokesman confirmed that TRE since December a unit of Aluminum Co of America had been contacted by SEC investigators and was cooperating with the probe

The spokesman added that TRE Chairman Leopold Wyler had been interviewed by the SEC probers

A Jefferies spokesman said the SEC had asked for information a few months ago as part of an informal probe

The spokesman said Jefferies had cooperated with the agency and had heard nothing more since that time

To the best of our knowledge Jefferies is not the target of a formal SEC investigation in connection with the TRE bid he said

A Drexel spokesman acknowledged that his firm had underwritten the debt offering for Sugarman but added

We had nothing to do with TRE

As a matter of policy the SEC routinely declines to comment on its enforcement activities