Congressman asks feds to investigate stock trading before Canton plant closure

We talked to Congressman Chuck Edwards and discussed why he is calling for an investigation into Pactiv Evergreen's recent decision to close a mill in Canton
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 11:33 AM EDT
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CANTON, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A lawmaker in western North Carolina is asking the federal government to investigate after several executives sold off stock days before announcing the closing of a manufacturing plant.

More than 1,000 employees at Pactiv Evergreen in Canton were notified on March 6 that the plant was shutting down. Pactiv Evergreen, which manufactures food and beverage packaging, is restructuring and will also close a facility in Ohio by the end of June.

Days prior to the announcement, executives including Pactiv Evergreen’s President and CEO sold more than 58,000 shares for $11.30 each, according to filings from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After the closure was publicly announced, shares dropped to $9.73.

A spokesperson for Pactiv Evergreen said the sales were scheduled in advance to “cover legally required tax withholding and were not discretionary sales made by the executives.”

Congressman Chuck Edwards, who represents North Carolina’s 11th district, has asked for the SEC to investigate.

“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 said in a letter to the SEC. “I urge you to investigate these actions as insider trading.”

The Canton mayor Zeb Smathers called the stock sell-off, regardless of legality, “disgusting” and “morally reprehensible.”

Edwards has asked for a response from the SEC by March 23.

Stay with FOX Carolina for updates on this developing story.