New York City Retirement Systems filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, seeking the right to inspect books and records for possible breaches of fiduciary duties connected with the company's pending acquisition by Microsoft Corp.
The five pension funds that make up the $265.9 billion retirement systems filed suit on April 26 in Delaware Chancery Court, the court filing shows.
The lawsuit by the pension funds, which hold stock in Activision, follows months of attempts by the pension funds to seek internal documents in connection with "the board's failure to maintain a safe and non-discriminatory working environment for its (specifically minority and female) employees, and failure to take action in response to repeated, grave allegations of misconduct, discrimination and harassment by Activision's senior executives," the filing said.
"Given (CEO Bobby) Kotick's personal responsibility and liability for Activision's broken workplace," the plaintiffs say in the filing, "it should have been clear to the board that he was unfit to negotiate a sale of the company." This resulted in an acquisition that seriously undervalued the company, the filing said.
The suit also references an SEC investigation launched in March to determine whether Mr. Kotick divulged non-public information to friends to acquire options to buy more than four million Activision shares.
Nicholas Paolucci, spokesman for the New York City law department, declined to comment. Officials at Activision Blizzard could not be immediately reached for comment.