US shareholders have taken action against AST Research alleging that the firm allowed deterioration of business to the point where Samsung could snap it up for a song.
According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, the class action suit, filed by lawyer and shareholder Daniel Sigler in Orange County, names AST, its board of directors and Samsung Electronics as plaintiffs.
According to other US reports, another five groups of shareholders have also filed class actions against Samsung and AST.
Sigler alleges that Samsung prompted AST to reduce its share of the PC market, thus creating a fall in the share price and allowing the Korean giant to buy up 51 per cent of the company it does not own for just over $5 a share.
Samsung, he claims, pushed AST to move from the corporate sector into consumer business in a bid to sell more components. He wants the two companies to compensate shareholders to the tune of about $7 a share.
A US corporate representative for Samsung said the company was not prepared to comment on the action.
The proposed takeover by Samsung depends on the agreement of three board members of AST who are not appointees of the Korean company.
Samsung has said it will not make redundancies if and when the takeover is agreed.
Last week AST UK general manager Graham Hopper said the Samsung offer represented a logical culmination of the firms? relationship. (PC Dealer, 5 February.)
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