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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chilean quits company boards to fight U.S. insider trading charges, (NYSE: ABT)

A Chilean businessman charged by U.S. regulators with insider trading linked to Abbott Laboratories $2.9 billion acquisition of a pharmaceutical firm said on Tuesday he had quit several board positions to defend his case. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit on Monday accusing Juan Bilbao Hormaeche of reaping more than $10.1 million by trading on non-public information concerning Abbott's takeover of a Chilean company, CFR Pharmaceuticals SA.The Santiago-based businessman, a former board member of CFR, said in a statement that he was stepping down as president of banking and insurance company Consorcio Financiero SA, and as board member for some of its business units.He also steps down as board member of salmon producer Blumar, telecommunications firm Entel, construction company Paz Corp and food and beverage maker Watt's."I want to be clear that these charges are strictly personal and have no relation to the businesses of any of the companies here mentioned," Bilbao said.

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of healthcare products. Shares of ABT fell by 1.61% or $-0.745/share to $45.62. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $35.65 and as high as $46.50. On average, 5243860 shares of ABT exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2428013.