Offline Casino Shareholdes Sue
By michael
Las Vegas, Nevada. July 9, 2003. According to Liz Benston in, no less than three gaming companies -- Riviera Holdings Corp., Acres Gaming, Inc., and PDS Gaming Corporation -- have had lawsuits filed against them by their respective shareholders in Clark County District Court, “alleging that the companies' boards of directors failed in their fiduciary duties to shareholders by either approving or preventing deals to acquire ... companies.”

Riviera Holdings Corporation “intentionally thwarted legitimate bids” for the takeover of the Riviera Casino, “including an offer made earlier this year from Italian investor Fabrizio Boccardi,” one suit charged. The suit, filed in April, alleged that directors had failed to “adequately consider” Boccardi's offer of about $8.50 per share. The offer surpassed the then current share price, which averaged $7.75 at the time of the offer.

A second suit, filed in May by another stockholder, made a “similar complaint,” writes Bentson. Riviera Holdings directors said in a distanced proxy statement that they would “vigorously defend” themselves against the suits for the allegations were “without merit.”

The board of directors of Acres Gaming, Inc., have also been hit by a suit, filed in June, which claims Acres “failed to adequately value and shop the company to prospective buyers before it agreed to be acquired by slot maker International Game Technology.” Bentson reports that IGT offered $11.50 per share for Acres, which closed at $11.26 on the day of the offer, June 30. Acres directors also said the allegations against them were “without merit.”

The third suit, filed by one shareholder, is against the directors of PDS Gaming Corpation who allegedly “violated their fiduciary duties in agreeing to sell shares of the company to a management group.” PDS directors also replied that they believe “the allegations are without merit and [intend] to vigorously defend [against] the lawsuit.”

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