May 23, 2006 – Several high-tech companies, including Brooks Automation Inc. and KLA-Tencor Corp., have received requests from the government inquiring about their timing of granting stock options, according to various media outlets.
Brooks indicated it has received a grand jury document subpoena from the Eastern District of New York requesting records pertaining to the granting of stock options. Semtech Corp., a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, also said it has received a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting information regarding stock options granted since 1997.
Chip equipment maker KLA-Tencor was among more than two dozen companies analyzed by a Merrill Lynch report, analyzed by the Wall Street Journal, on the timing of stock option distribution at companies in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The report calculated a one-in-20-million chance that 10 grants to CEO Ken Levy from 1994-2001 that preceded stock rallies could have been just coincidence, noted a summary in the San Jose Mercury News. The company has formed an independent board panel to examine its stock option grants over the past decade, noted local business reports.