Cue the lawsuits over the latest media mega-merger. Less than two weeks after AT&T and DirecTV sealed their $48 billion-plus tie-up, a shareholder has filed a class action objecting to the deal. The suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here) names as defendants AT&T, the satcaster and its board members, including former CBS honcho Peter Lund and ex-Fox Networks Group chief Tony Vinciquerra. In the lawsuit, investor Teresa Silvestri claims the purchase price for the satcaster is too low considering its long-term potential. “DirecTV’s recent financial performance is indicative of a company on the rise with growth potential yet to be recognized,” the suit reads. It also takes the board members to task. “In approving the Proposed Acquisition … the Individual Defendants have breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty, good faith, due care and disclosure by … agreeing to sell DirecTV without first taking steps to ensure that Plaintiff and Class members would obtain adequate, fair and maximum consideration under the circumstances and engineering the Proposed Acquisition to benefit themselves and/or AT&T without regard for DirecTV public shareholders. Absent judicial intervention, the merger will be consummated, resulting in irreparable injury to Plaintiff and the Class.”
The filing, which demands a jury trial, claims breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty. Attorney Evan J. Smith of Brodsky & Smith in Beverly Hills is representing the plaintiffs.
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