Jane, who works as a senior investment analyst for a management consultancy company, is asked to investigate the feasibility of ABC Company taking over XYZ Company. Based on her findings, she recommends that ABC Company proceed with the takeover by offering XYZ Company’s shareholders $5 per share. XYZ Company’s shares have been trading at between $2.50 and $2.75 per share for the last 6 months. Jane tells her husband, Joe, about ABC Company’s takeover plans. He immediately buys 10,000 shares in XYZ Company and makes a substantial profit when news of the takeover becomes public.
(a) Advise Jane and Joe whether they have breached the Corporations Act and if so, what are the legal consequences.
(b) Would your answer be different if Dick overheard the conversation between Jane and Joe and without their knowledge bought shares in XYZ Company before the takeover plans were announced?