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Yahoo to ask for dismissal of amended shareholder suit

By next week, company also plans to oppose motion by plaintiffs seeking a trial date prior to Yahoo's annual shareholder meeting.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
3 min read

Yahoo on Wednesday said it plans to ask the court to dismiss an amended shareholders lawsuit and noted it would also oppose the plaintiffs' motion to seek a speedy trial to invalidate its employee severance plans.

In its filing to Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor William Chandler, Yahoo states:

We strongly disagree with Plaintiff's statements made in support of their Motion for a Trial Date (and supplemental letter) in connection with Yahoo!'s Change in Control Employee Severance Plans. It is obvious that Plaintiffs devoted much time in preparing their submissions in support of the Motion. We intend to oppose the Motion and plan to submit our opposition papers to the Motion by Monday. We also plan to file a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint no later than Monday. We very much hope that this schedule is acceptable to the Court."

The brief note foreshadows actions Yahoo plans to take by Monday to preserve its controversial employee severance plans.

As previously reported, the employee severance plans could be triggered if Yahoo shareholder and investor activist Carl Icahn successfully unseats Yahoo's current board with some of his dissident directors slate. For full-time employees to cash out on the severance package, over the next two years following the election, these workers would either need to be terminated or resign due to a change in their job or responsibilities. If all full-time employees take advantage of the severance plans, Icahn and the lawsuit noted it could potentially cost the company more than $2 billion in severance costs.

Yahoo, meanwhile, laid out the logistics of attending its shareholders meeting on August 1. Only shareholders of record as of June 3 are allowed to attend the meeting, which will begin at 10 a.m. PDT at the Fairmont hotel in San Jose, Calif.

Any shareholder who plans to attend needs to also keep this in mind, according to Yahoo's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

In order to attend the annual meeting, you must be a stockholder of record or a beneficial owner as of the close of business on June 3, 2008, or hold a valid proxy for the annual meeting. If you are the stockholder of record, your name will be verified against the list of stockholders of record prior to your admittance to the annual meeting.

You should be prepared to present photo identification for admission. If you hold your shares in street name, you should provide proof of beneficial ownership on the record date, such as a brokerage account statement showing that you owned Yahoo! common stock as of the record date, a copy of the WHITE voting instruction form provided by your broker, bank or other nominee, or other similar evidence of ownership as of the record date, as well as your photo identification, for admission.

If you do not provide photo identification or comply with the other procedures outlined above upon request, you will not be admitted to the annual meeting.

Better not leave the wallet or purse in the car. You'll lose your place in line and it's likely to be a packed house...