> Pension Funds Insider> CalSTRS sues Wal-Mart executives over bribery allegations
The U.S.'s second largest public pension fund has sued current and former executives and board members at Wal-Mart Stores for alleged bribery in the company's Mexico branch.
According to data held by Pension Funds Insider the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) holds around £94bn in assets and owns more than 5.3 million shares of Wal-Mart. Mining Stocks
Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world.
The pension scheme says the lawsuit is based on a story that appeared last month in the New York Times and reported Wal-Mart de Mexico, of which Wal-Mart owes the majority, allegedly gained its key market position through bribery.
"By utilizing the derivative action, CalSTRS is seeking to remedy the damages sustained by Wal-Mart as a result of alleged gross misconduct by Wal-Mart's executive officers and directors," CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes said in the statement.
"The focus of this action, unprecedented in CalSTRS history, is corporate governance reform to ensure that similar misconduct is not repeated in the future," Ehnes said. "We need truly independent directors who will set the right tone from the top."
The pension fund has retained the law firms of Girard Gibbs LLP and Labaton Sucharow LLP for the lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware.
The decision to sue the executives comes only one week after US regulators sued a former chief executive and a former director of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the biggest public pension scheme in the US, also from California state. The regulators accused them of defrauding an investment firm for the sum of $20m.
First published 04.05.12
04 May 2012
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