May 11 (Reuters) - Cosmetics company Avon Products Inc is cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was reported on Friday to be looking into trading activity before fragrance maker Coty Inc’s $10 billion offer to buy Avon.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC sent a letter to Avon on April 2, the day Coty made its offer public, asking for telephone records and other information.
In the letter, reviewed by the newspaper, the SEC said it “is examining trading in the securities of Avon Products Inc ahead of today’s announcement that Coty Inc has submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire Avon.”
There was no immediate comment from the SEC. An Avon spokeswoman told Reuters the company is cooperating in the matter but declined to comment further.
A Coty spokesman confirmed to the Journal that the privately-held company received a similar letter and said Coty is cooperating fully with the investigation.
The newspaper said the letter did not accuse Avon of any wrongdoing, and it wasn’t immediately clear what caught the SEC’s attention.
Avon’s shares rose about 7 percent between March 7, when Coty first presented its offer in a letter to Avon’s board, and on April 2, when Coty made its offer public.
The shares had been trending higher since late 2011, when Avon said it would replace Andrea Jung, its long-running chief executive. On April 2, Avon’s shares jumped 17 percent to $22.70. On Friday, Avon shares closed down 3.3 percent at $20.19 on the New York Stock Exchange.