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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> Investment Co. Asks To Leave Towers-Willis Merger Suit

Investment Co. Asks To Leave Towers-Willis Merger Suit

Richard S. Horvath Jr. in Law360

Law360 (April 16, 2018) A Willis Group shareholder Friday asked to be let out of a suit claiming its CEO and the CEO of Towers Watson & Co made a deal to drive down Towers' share value ahead of the companies’ $18 billion merger, with the shareholder saying its CEO didn’t have the power to make such a deal. ValueAct Capital Management claimed that as a minority shareholder in Willis it didn’t have the power to make the deal alleged by a group of former Towers shareholders in their suit against former Towers and current Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley, VAC and VAC CEO Jeffrey Ubben, among others, alleging Haley and Ubben conspired to drive down the share price the shareholders received for his own benefit. VAC and Ubben argued instead that they are facing liability for exercising their right as shareholders to advocate for what they thought was a good deal for VAC and Willis. Ubben and VAC are represented by Ryan D. Frei and Robert J. Farlow of McGuireWoods LLP and Richard S. Horvath Jr. of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP.