The crisis deepened at Informix today as shareholders issued a class action suit against Phil White, the firm?s chief executive, and Michael Stonebraker, chief technology officer, alleging insider dealing.
The news came as rumours circulated that the database supplier was compiling a hit list, planning to axe as many as 20 per cent of its 4,500 staff across the board, following its shock profits warning earlier this month. The percentage of UK jobs under threat is believed to be even higher.
The class action suit was filed yesterday in the US Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Phil White and Michael Stonebraker violated federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading statements regarding Informix?s operations and future prospects.
The plaintiffs, Jason and Sean Weaver, claimed that the two executives intentionally tried to keep the stock value high to make Stonebraker?s stock holdings more valuable. Stonebraker has allegedly sold 87,500 shares for more than $1.6 million.
The statement also followed rumours in February that Phil White was evaulating his own share options, while he decided whether to quit the company or not.
The plaitiffs have filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and purchasers of Informix stock between 2 December 1996 and 1 April 1997.
Informix refused to comment, but financial analysts were baying for blood as the company's shares continued to drop in value, with several predicting that White was unlikely to survive the crisis.
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