Pennsylvania Retirement Plan Sues to Halt Merrill Lynch Sale

The board managing York County, Pennsylvania’s employee retirement plan is trying to stop the $50 billion sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America.

The York Dispatch reports that the retirement board last week gave the go-ahead for a class-action lawsuit filed Friday, alleging that Merrill Lynch shareholders would be hurt if the sale goes through. The proposed $29-per share sale to Bank of America would cost the county’s retirement plan several hundred thousand dollars, said Mark Gensheimer, an executive vice president with Pittsburgh-based investment firm C.S. McKee, which manages a portion of the county’s plan, in the news report.

The county says in the lawsuit that the proposed share sale price undervalues Merrill Lynch and asks for a halt of the sale, among other requests.

As of August 31, the retirement plan had about $929,400 invested in Merrill Lynch stock, according to information provided to the newspaper by the county controller’s office. The stock’s market value at that point was about $590,000, which was based on $28.35 per share.