Monday, October 09, 2006

Once, Twice, Three Times A Defendant

Last week, Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL) announced that class action lawsuits have been filed against the company in state court, seeking to enjoin the proposed acquisition of Symbol by Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

The Motorola acquisition, which was previously announced on September 19 is valued at approximately $3.9 billion. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Motorola agreed to pay $15 per share in cash for the outstanding Symbol shares. News stories in the wake of the announcement ( here) and (Forbes here) suggested that the price was too low and that other bidders might emerge.

Though the Symbol press release does not indicate where the litigation was filed, the company is based in Long Island, and the complaints were likely filed in Suffolk County Supreme Court.

Oh, one more thing about the Symbol press release announcing the class actions. You guessed it, the announcement of a "vigorous defense":
Symbol believes the lawsuits are entirely without merit and intends to vigorously defend against the claims.
Perhaps the good folks at Symbol are simply tiring of being a frequent target of securities litigation, having been named (according to Stanford's Securities Class Action Clearinghouse) three times as a defendant in a securities class action (See case pages here, here, and here).

Interestingly, a quick search of Stanford revealed that Motorola has also been named three times as a defendant in a securities class action.

The first is a recently certified class action on behalf of purchasers of publicly traded Motorola common stock.

The second is a certified class action on behalf of purchasers of Iridium World Communications, Ltd. securities (Motorola was the principal investor in Iridium and had selected six current and former employees and officers to serve as members of Iridium's Board of Directors).

The third is a class action on behalf of purchasers of Charter Communications, Inc. securities (Motorola was one of Charter's vendors). A copy of the Eighth Circuit's opinion affirming the District Court's dismissal of Motorola from the Charter class action is available here.

Daily Trivia: Three Times A Lady was The Commodores first number one single. The Commodores met as freshmen at Tuskegee University.

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