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Edwards calls on SEC to investigate stock sale by Canton paper mill execs

U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards is calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the selling of stock by four of Pactiv Evergreen executives four days before the company announced the closure of its Canton, a shutdown that will result in the projected loss of 1,200 jobs and most likely devastating blow to Haywood County's economy.

Stocks were sold at $11.30 per share. The profits, according to a report on WLOS-TV, made by the executives are as follows:

  • President and CEO Michael King: $509,776
  • Chief Legal Officer and Secretary Chandra Mitchell: $63,426
  • President of Beverage Merchandising Byron Racki: $46,250
  • Chief Operations Officer Douglas Owensby: $44,849

"Only days before announcing the closure of the plant, several executives at Pactiv Evergreen reportedly sold thousands of shares of the company’s stock at $11.30 per share," Edwards told SEC Chairman Gary Gensler  in a letter. "After the closure of the plant was formally announced, the price of Pactiv Evergreen’s stocks plunged to $9.73 per share, which allowed these executives to profit by thousands of dollars.

"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. I urge you to investigate these actions as insider trading.'