Facebook shareholders seeking to block
Mark Zuckerberg’s to create a new class of non-voting stock will have their day in court.
A trial for the lawsuit challenging the plan is on the calendar and is set to kick off on September 26, 2017, Facebook revealed on Thursday.
The class action lawsuit seeks to block Facebook’s plan to reclassify its stock structure and create a new class of non-voting shares. The new shares are designed to concentrate Zuckerberg’s majority voting rights even as he sells his shares to fund his philanthropic efforts.
If the shareholder plaintiffs prevail, Zuckerberg will have to find a different way to fund his commitment to give 99% of his fortune away before he dies. Facebook could also still choose to settle the case outside of court.
The September trial will take place in the Delaware Chancery Court, according to a form Facebook filed with the SEC on Thursday. Representatives for Facebook and the plaintiff’s lawyers didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
So far, the lawsuit’s discovery process has surfaced controversial text messages between Zuckerberg and Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, who the plaintiffs have accused of surreptitiously coaching Zuckerberg through a negotiation process to win board approval for the stock change. The texts also indicate that Zuckerberg has seriously considered holding some form of public office.
In the meantime, Zuckerberg’s desired stock reclassification is pending the outcome of the lawsuit.