SIM founders sue Softbank Holdings, Ziff-Davis

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The founders of Softbank Interactive Marketing have filed a $200 million lawsuit against SIM's former parent company, Softbank Holdings and its subsidiary Ziff-Davis, also naming Ziff Chairman and CEO Eric Hippeau and Jeffrey Ballowe, president of marketing and development of Ziff-Davis' Interactive Media divisions. Also named in the suit is Masayoshi Son, president and majority shareholder of Softbank Corp., parent of Softbank Holdings.

The suit, filed April 17 in the Supreme Court of New York, alleges that the defendants abused their control of SIM by mismanaging the company's business. The lawsuit also claims that "to make matters worse, Softbank sold its stock to a company whose inappropriateness as a purchaser was obvious for all to see." On Dec. 31, Softbank Holdings sold a majority of SIM to Zulu-tek.

Plaintiffs include Andrew Batkin, former chairman and CEO of SIM; Lawrence Howorth, former president-chief financial officer of SIM; Edward West, former chief operating officer of SIM's media sales group; and Robert Colvin, former president of SIM's media sales group.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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