(WSPA) – North Carolina Congressman Chuck Edwards called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Thursday to investigate the sale of stock by executives of Pactiv Evergreen just days before the company announced the closure of its Canton paper mill.
The company announced Monday that the mill would close in the second quarter of 2023.
The company is the largest private employer in Haywood County. The mill closure will result in more than 1,100 losing their jobs.
Edwards asked, in a letter to the SEC, for an investigation into multiple company executives for “any potential actions that may have violated federal law.”
According to SEC filings, the company’s President and CEO, along with three other executives, sold thousands of shares of stock on March 2, four days before announcing the plant’s closure.
The filings showed President and CEO Mike King sold 45,113 shares worth $509,776.90.
Chandra Mitchell, chief legal officer, sold 5,613 shares worth $63,426.90, filings showed.
Byron Racki, president of beverage merchandising, sold 4,093 shares worth $46,250.90 and Douglas Ownby, chief operations officer, sold 3,969 shares worth $44,849.70, according to the filings.
All four sold their stock for $11.30 a share. Since those sales were made, the company’s stock price has dropped 13%. All told, the executives netted around $86,000 more than if they had sold the stock following the plant closure announcement.
Rep. Edwards called for federal regulators to investigate “potential insider trading” by the executives.
“It would be illegal for anyone to profit from inside information, and it would be reprehensible for them to reap a windfall while workers in my district will soon be struggling even more to provide for their families,” Edwards wrote in the letter. “I urge you to investigate these actions as insider trading.”