In what is shaping up as a volatile annual meeting for AOL Time Warner May 16, its largest institutional shareholder and some executives plan to oppose the reelections of retiring chairman Steve Case and two of his supporters to the board of directors, The Wall Street Journal reported. It said the vote is unlikely to keep the three from retaining their seats, but the move by the Capital Group Companies' Capital Research & Management and others is a sign that Case's resignation from the chairmanship in January failed to satisfy shareholders angry at the entertainment giant's sharply declining stock value and at revelations of questionable past accounting practices at its America Online unit.
A lawsuit seeking up to $7 billion in damages was to be filed Monday in behalf of hundreds of former Gold Fields Ltd. employees who allege that the company exposed them to unsafe levels of radiation in working around uranium-contaminated water. The company, one of the world's largest miners of the precious metal, is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the suit covers the latter years of the apartheid era, although the plaintiffs told the Financial Times that some practices about which they complain "continue to the present." Uranium is regularly extracted as a byproduct of gold mining in South Africa. The suit was to be filed in New York, where Gold Fields has a secondary stock-market listing. The company vowed to make a "strenuous" defense, although it has said it does not recognize the jurisdiction of US courts.