Holding company Leucadia National Corporation has agreed to pay $240,000 in civil penalties to resolve FTC allegations that it violated federal premerger reporting laws by failing to report a conversion of its ownership interest in the financial services company Knight Capital
Group, Inc. In July 2013, Knight Capital consolidated with another financial services company, GETCO Holding Company, LLC to become KCG Holdings, Inc. That transaction converted Leucadia’s ownership interest in Knight Capital into nearly 16.5 million voting shares of the new entity, KCG Holdings, worth approximately $173 million. Leucadia did not report the transaction, according to the complaint, because it thought that it qualified for an exemption applicable to institutional investors. Although Leucadia consulted experienced HSR counsel in connection with the transaction, their counsel erroneously concluded that the exemption applied. Leucadia made a corrective filing in September 2014, acknowledging that the acquisition was reportable under the HSR Act. Even though Leucadia relied on the advice of counsel, the FTC determined to seek civil penalties because, as noted in the complaint, Leucadia had previously violated the HSR Act in 2007, which led to a corrective filing in 2008.