Company Says It Gave Price Exclusive Stock Deal, Contrary To His Testimony

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January 30, 2017 3:51 p.m.
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An Australian pharmaceutical company says it gave President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services an exclusive deal to purchase stock, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

That directly contradicts Price’s testimony in his confirmation hearings that discounted shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. “were available to every single individual that was an investor at the time.”

Innate Immuno CEO Simon Wilkinson said in an interview with the Journal that those investors who had previously participated in private placement had been invited to “make friends and family aware of the opportunity” to buy discounted shares.

The Journal confirmed the exclusive discount in an interview with Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who owns a 17 percent stake in the company and who made Price aware of the stock opportunity.

Price was one of just six “friends and family” of investors previously involved in a private placement that were offered the special discounted rates, according to the report. The Journal noted that “about 10” investors who previously purchased Innate Immuno stock were also offered discount rates, in addition to all investors in Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to the Journal report, Price was already in hot water for the timing of his initial investment in Innate Immuno. He introduced legislation that would have benefitted the company after buying up to $15,000 in stock in the company in March of last year.

After that initial investment, Price invested larger sums in Innate Immuno stock at discounted rates, according to the Journal report. On two separate occasions, Price invested a net of $50,000-$100,000, according to disclosure forms.

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Price’s nomination to lead HHS.

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