In a case that threatens private companies with the same kind of punishments public companies occasionally face for manipulating their own share prices for bosses' benefit at workers' or outside owners' expense, the Securities and Exchange Commission in a federal case in Miami today "alleges that Stiefel Laboratories Inc., which was a family-owned business located in Coral Gables, Fla., prior to being purchased by GlaxoSmithKline two years ago, used low valuations for stock buybacks from November 2006 to April 2009." Stiefel's lawyers at Greenberg Traurig in Miami not immediately available for comment. More from SEC here.

According to the SEC, Stiefel owners Charles Stiefel and members of his family "profited at the expense of their employee shareholders who lost more than $110 million by selling their stock based on the misleading valuations they were provided." Glaxo owns Philadelphia's former Smith, Kline and French and is a major local employer with offices in the city and in central Montgomery County.
According to the SEC’s civil complaint, Stiefel Labs bought more than 2,800 of the company's shares back at prices below $17,000 a share, in 2008 and 2009, and assured shareholders the company would stay family-controlled, even thought boss Charles Stiefel knew that private equity firms had offered to pay a lot more. Then "on April 20, 2009, Stiefel Labs announced that GlaxoSmithKline would acquire the company for a value that amounted to more than $68,000 per share," more than four times what it had been paying previous shareholders, profiting the Stiefels at the other investors' expense. 
"The SEC’s complaint alleges Stiefel Labs violated and Charles Stiefel violated and aided and abetted Stiefel Labs’ violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The SEC’s complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, financial penalties, and the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest against both defendants, and an officer and director bar against Charles Stiefel."