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S3 brings Diamond merger vote forward

Shareholder ballot on 20 September

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S3's attempt to buy Diamond Multimedia took a step closer to completion today when the graphics company announced it had been allowed to limit the period it needs to wait before it can put the merger proposal to a shareholders' vote. The US' Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act enforces a waiting period between the statement of two or more companies to merge and the final vote by the companies' shareholders on whether the merger should go ahead. S3's "early termination" -- as the company darkly put it -- now means shareholders will be asked to gather together on 20 September to cast their lot in favour of the motion to merge. The move should allow the merger deal to sneak past a group of Diamond shareholders' attempt to sue Diamond's bosses for agreeing to the deal. The shareholders claim Diamond executives have failed in their statutory duty to maximise their shareholders' stock value -- the merger deal undervalues Diamond stock, they allege. ®

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