Bill Gross is cleared to pur­sue $200 mil­lion Pimco law­suit

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Bond man­ager Bill Gross will be able to pur­sue his law­suit to re­coup at least $200 mil­lion he claims that Pa­cific In­vest­ment Man­age­ment Co owes him in the wake of his 2014 ouster from the firm he co-founded.

Cal­i­for­nia Su­pe­rior Court Judge Martha Good­ing ruled late Sun­day that Gross' breach-of­con­tract law­suit was strong enough to pro­ceed.

The Santa Ana-based judge said Gross "al­leges suf­fi­cient facts based on al­le­ga­tions con­cern­ing his sta­tus as the founder, a 40-year his­tory, an al­leged track record of bring­ing suc­cess and/or fame to the en­ter­prise, as well as a se­ries of al­leged oral prom­ises/as­sur­ances of con­tin­ued em­ploy­ment."

Good­ing's rul­ing had been ten­ta­tive, and a sched­uled hear­ing on the mat­ter was can­celed as a re­sult. The judge did not rule on the law­suit's mer­its.

David Boies, a lawyer for Pimco, said: "Pimco is con­fi­dent that it will pre­vail when the par­ties present their ev­i­dence to the court." Gross abruptly left Pimco in Septem­ber 2014 fol­low­ing neg­a­tive re­ports about his man­age­ment style and weak re­turns at Pimco To­tal Re­turn (PTTRX.O), which he had built into what was at the time the world's largest bond fund.

He sued Pimco in Oc­to­ber 2015, claim­ing that ex­ec­u­tives plot­ted to oust him and di­vide his bonus among them­selves. Pimco has said Gross had no em­ploy­ment guar­an­tee and could have been fired at any time with­out cause.

The New­port Beach, Cal­i­for­nia-based unit of Ger­man in­surer Al­lianz SE (ALVG.DE) has un­til April 4 to file a for­mal an­swer to Gross' law­suit.

Pa­tri­cia Glaser, a lawyer for Gross, said: "We are very pleased with the court's rul­ing and are look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to prove our case in court." Gross, 71, now man­ages the $1.3 bil­lion Janus Global Un­con­strained Bond Fund (JUCAX.O) for Den­ver-based Janus Cap­i­tal Group Inc.

A large por­tion of the fund's as­sets comes from Gross, whose net worth is $1.95 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Forbes mag­a­zine. Gross has said he will do­nate pro­ceeds from the Pimco law­suit to char­ity.

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