A class-action lawsuit seeking to halt the NYSE's merger agreement with Archipelago Holdings Inc. was filed today by William Higgins, a New York Stock Exchange seat holder, according to attorney Jay Eisenhofer. Mr. Eisenhofer's firm, Grant & Eisenhofer PA, filed the lawsuit jointly with Raynes McCarty, another law firm.
The lawsuit charged that the deal, under which a newly formed publicly traded company, NYSE Group Inc., would be formed, undervalues the Big Board and unfairly favors Archipelago over NYSE seat-holders, who currently own the not-for-profit exchange, Mr. Eisenhofer said. The merger would leave NYSE seat-holders with 70% of the new company and Archipelago shareholders with 30%.
The lawsuit was filed in New York State Supreme Court. Mr. Higgins, the lead plaintiff, is president of the Association of NYSE Equity Members Inc.
"The New York Stock Exchange has reviewed Mr. William Higgins' complaint and found that it is completely without merit," said Ray Pellecchia, NYSE spokesman. "We are proceeding with the merger as proposed."