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A federal judge is expected to hear opening statements March 18 in an investment company’s lawsuit against Credit Suisse First Boston predecessor Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, attorneys involved in the case said Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed in December 2000 by New York-based Morgens Waterfall Vintiadis & Co., accuses DLJ of securities law violations, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentations and breach of fiduciary duty when it marketed bonds for AmeriServe Food Distribution Inc. in 1999. Martin R. Pollner of Loeb & Loeb in New York is representing Morgens. Morgens is seeking $22 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages for its losses on AmeriServe bonds. DLJ acted as a primary, or “one-stop” shop for Addison, Texas-based AmeriServe during a three-year acquisition binge ending in 1999. During that span, the investment bank provided M&A advice, invested in the company and underwrote debt offerings to finance AmeriServe’s dealmaking. Two DLJ bankers even served on the company’s board of directors. The close relationship between DLJ and AmeriServe came under fire in early 2000 when the food distributor filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Bondholders, represented by Michael Harwood at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman in Houston, allege DLJ failed to disclose the company’s failing financials in a bond offering just weeks before the company filed for bankruptcy. The Morgens case “will go a long way” toward testing the larger suit which seeks unspecified damages, Harwood said. Bondholders include Morgens, Oak Hill Partners Inc., Salomon Smith Barney Inc. and Conseco Capital Management Inc. The case involves two defunct companies. AmeriServe was sold in a bankruptcy auction in August 2000 for $110 million to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. subsidiary McLane Co. DLJ was sold to CSFB for $11 billion that year. Copyright (c)2002 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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