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Shareholder Sues WMG

STOCKHOLDER VS. WMG: A WMG shareholder has sued the company over claims its $3.3 billion acquisition by former director Len Blavatnik's Access Industries undervalues the company. Barbara Varipapa claims the music company’s directors abandoned their duty to shareholders when they agreed to a deal that benefits Access to the "detriment" of the minority investors, she said in a complaint filed today in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington. Warner Music's largest shareholders, who collectively own about 56% of the company, agreed to vote in favor of the transaction, according to the complaint. "The company's shares are already locked up in favor of the proposed transaction, rendering the minority shareholders' vote meaningless," Varipapa said in her complaint, adding that the deal is inadequate and includes onerous provisions that preclude a superior offer. The Gores brothers have reportedly bid $3.5 billion and $8.50 a share, which is more than Blavatnik's $3.3 billion and $8.25 (see item below). Varipapa is seeking to represent all Warner Music shareholders in her bid to bar the deal. (5/13p)

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