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U.S. court rejects Kerkorian appeal - Daimler

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/09/19 15:12

A U.S. federal court has upheld a lower court ruling that investor Kirk Kerkorian is not entitled to damages over the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler nine years ago, DaimlerChrysler said on Wednesday. "DaimlerChrysler is pleased to announce that the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has unanimously affirmed the trial court's judgment dismissing Tracinda's complaint relating to the 1998 merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler," the company said.

Kerkorian's Tracinda investment vehicle was not immediately available for comment.

The lower court ruled in 2005 that Kerkorian had not been misled into believing the $36 billion deal was a merger of equals as the two partners had claimed.

A DaimlerChrysler spokesman said the verdict would not have any financial consequences because the company had not set aside any money in case it lost the case. It had, however, made reserves for its legal fees and court costs, he added.

DaimlerChrysler shares rose 1.4 percent to 66.79 euros by 0941 GMT, lagging a 2.1 percent gain in the DJ Stoxx European car sector index.

The transatlantic linkup between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler was one of the biggest deals in automotive history, but never lived up to its potential and was unwound this year when Chrysler was sold to buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Kerkorian was Chrysler's leading shareholder when it signed the deal that former Chief Executive Juergen Schrempp boasted would form the world's first truly global carmaker.

Kerkorian, who had demanded more than $1 billion in damages, contended that Schrempp only billed the deal as a merger of equals to lower the transaction price and avoid paying shareholders a "control premium".


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