YORK, Pa. The $199 million York County Employees Retirement Plan, York, has filed a lawsuit, seeking class-action status, against Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. to stop its sale to Bank of America Corp.
The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Court of Chancery, Wilmington, on Sept. 26, claims Merrill Lynch officials breached fiduciary duty in selling the company to Bank of America for $50 billion. It claims the price undervalues Merrill Lynch.
The suit names New York-based Merrill Lynch; John Thain, former CEO and chairman; members of its board of directors; and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America as defendants.
Defendants have initiated a process to sell Merrill that undervalues the company and vests them with benefits that are not shared equally by Merrill's public shareholders a clear effort to take advantage of the temporary depression in Merrill's stock price caused by the economy's current condition, according to the lawsuit.
Mark Herr, a Merrill Lynch spokesman, did not return a call by press time.
Calls for further information also were not returned by Robert Green, county controller; Doug Hoke, county commissioner; and Stewart Cohen, county attorney from the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, Philadelphia.