Earlier at the start of this year, Microsoft expressed concerns to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft offered $95 per share while the shares were going for $77, a majority of the shareholders said okay to the deal but there was always a hint that Wall Street didn’t like the deal. And now, according to a report by Axios, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) has filed a lawsuit in Delaware claiming that Microsoft’s deal undervalues the company and that CEO Bobby Kotick was “unfit to negotiate a sale.”
NYCERS demands to inspect all the details of the Microsoft deal in the latest lawsuit
The NYCERS is currently suing Activision as the group owns Activision stock and counts as the largest of the five pension systems in New York City, managing pensions for firefighters, teachers, and police.
The lawsuit is technically a 220 complaint where stockholders possess the right to inspect books and records. The NYCERS are now asking Activision to provide all the details and documents related to the controversial Microsoft deal including sale talks, board memos, and everything else.
Activision was previously asked for documents and details in order to find out what CEO Bobby Kotick knew about previous sexual misconduct allegations, the group alleges that Bobby Kotick closed a deal that undervalued the company and says that the deal was made in a rush as the company faced several allegations of sexual misconduct.
NYCERS alleges that the company’s shares were trading close to Microsoft’s $95 price just before the allegations of sexual misconduct in the company went public which caused a dip in the stock prices. NYCERS also says in the lawsuit that Bobby Kotick was unfit to make the deal as he was trying to escape his personal responsibility and liability for the allegations made against Activision.
Although, there is no substantial evidence that Bobby Kotick knew all about the sexual misconduct allegations but insiders say that he was aware of some. On the other hand, when he asked about the same, he said that he was “committed to making sure we have the most welcoming, most inclusive workplace in the industry.”
Activision and a series of ongoing lawsuits
Activision has been facing public backlash for several allegations of sexual misconduct and lawsuits against the company, some of the notable ones are:
- 1 purported class-action suit
- 2 “220 complaints,” lawsuits including the one from NYC.
- 8 lawsuits over the Microsoft merger
- 1 federal harassment suit (initially settled, but now facing appeals)
- 4 shareholder lawsuits
- 1 discrimination suit from California
- An SEC investigation and insider trading inquiries from the SEC and Department of Justice.
The Activision-Microsoft deal is already hanging on a thread as the company faces several lawsuits across the country, now with the new lawsuit by NYC the chances of this deal being possible only become less.
What are your thoughts on the lawsuit filed by NYCERS against Activision CEO Bobby Kotick? Let us know in the comments below!