McKesson/HBOC bites back at shareholders who sued

January 24, 2001

McKesson/HBOC has filed a countersuit against shareholders who sued the company after its stock took a nosedive in mid-1999 (HNN 10/18/00). McKesson/HBOC stock lost $9 billion in value in one day after revelation of a financial scandal

McKesson/HBOC has filed a countersuit against shareholders who sued the company after its stock took a nosedive in mid-1999 (HNN 10/18/00). McKesson/HBOC stock lost $9 billion in value in one day after revelation of a financial scandal involving Albert Bergonzi and Jay Gilbertson, co-presidents and co-chief operating officers for HBOC before the merger of McKesson and HBOC.

The two men were indicted in October by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 17 counts of securities fraud, conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud for falsifying company ledgers to boost HBOC profits prior to the merger in January 1999. When McKesson/HBOC announced in April 1999 that it would have to restate several years' worth of earnings reports, the company's stock fell from around $66 per share to $34.50 in one day. This prompted the shareholder lawsuit.

McKesson/HBOC's countersuit, however, alleges that stockholders were "unjustly enriched" before the stock crash and that the company was victimized as well. While the shareholder complaint claims that McKesson knew about HBOC's financial finagling before finalizing its purchase of HBOC, McKesson denies the charge.