A group of shareholders in digital marketing agency Circle.com has launched a class-action lawsuit against Snyder Communications and Havas Advertising, now owners of Circle.

The shareholders claim they were not compensated adequately when Havas agreed the takeover of Circle.com as part of its acquisition of Snyder. They argue that Snyder failed to fulfil its fiduciary obligations by not negotiating the acquisition of Circle.com separately with Havas.

Filed on June 4, the suit initially called for an injunction against the acquisition or monetary damages. However, the petition for an injunction was dropped by plaintiffs Norman Cheney and Deborah Dyckman on June 11.

Snyder and Havas deny the accusations in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission, adding that the defendants – among them the chief executives of Havas (Alain de Pouzilhac), Arnold Communications (Ed Eskandarian) and Euro RSCG (Bob Schmetterer) – “intend to defend themselves vigorously in such action.”

Havas’ acquisition of Circle.com is still subject to the approval of Snyder shareholders – a vote is scheduled for June 26.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline