“In 1998, both sides — Daimler-Benz executives in Stuttgart, Germany, and Chrysler executives in Auburn Hills, Mich. — famously labeled the deal a “merger of equals,” a gauzy term without legal definition.
Kirk Kerkorian, the 86-year-old Las Vegas casino mogul who was Chrysler’s top shareholder at the time of the merger, is suing DaimlerChrysler. He contends that the deal was fraudulently labeled a merger when it was actually envisioned as a takeover from the start by Schrempp, Daimler-Benz’s chief executive, and the rest of his management team. …
But Kerkorian is looking at a different Mack truck: the collapse of DaimlerChrysler stock, from nearly $108 in early 1999 to under $27 last March. Shares closed at $45.91, which was a new 52-week high, on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
His suit was prompted by a 2000 interview in The Financial Times of London, in which Schrempp said he had intended all along to relegate Chrysler to a division of the parent company and had used the term “merger of equals” only for “psychological” reasons…. “
Other stories of note: