NETHERLANDS/US - Dutch asset manager APG has filed a suit against Bank of America (BofA) alleging the firm misled shareholders in the lead-up to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.
APG expects to recover between US$30m and $90m, said spokesman Thijs Steger.
In a statement, APG said BofA "withheld material information from its shareholders" and alleged the bank knew Merrill would post losses surpassing the $15bn mark before its acquisition.
APG also alleged BofA withheld details of an agreement to pay Merrill employees bonuses of over $5.8bn.
APG said: "There is no doubt that shareholders would have found the information withheld vital to an informed vote and rejected the merger if they would have had knowledge of the concealed facts."
BofA has faced as series of suits as a result of the Merrill acquisition. Last month, a US federal court approved a $150m settlement between BofA and the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Global Pensions; February 23, 2010)
But the bank still faces a class action lawsuit from Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray who filed a complaint against the bank on behalf of five pension funds, making identical allegations to those of APG.
The lead plaintiffs in the class action are State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio; the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; Stichting Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn, represented by PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V.; and Fjärde AP-Fonden.
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