Simon Property Says Court Should Dismiss Pay Case

Simon Property Group Inc., the biggest U.S. owner of shopping malls, told a Delaware judge that an investor lawsuit over executive pay should be thrown out now that the company has rewritten the compensation plan.

The Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System sued Indianapolis-based Simon Property and its board in August 2012, claiming they wrongly amended a 1998 stock incentive plan by awarding Chief Executive Officer David Simon a long-term package with a $1.25 million annual salary, a 200 percent bonus and $120 million in incentive payments.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge J. Travis Laster in Wilmington today held off on making an immediate decision in the case after hearing arguments from the company and the pension fund.

In a letter last month to Laster, David Simon’s lawyer Donald J. Wolfe Jr. said the company’s stock incentive plan had been revised and approved by the board.

“We think it’s completely resolved,” Lewis R. Clayton, a lawyer for the directors, told Laster today. “The plaintiffs have won.”

The pension fund wants the case to continue.

“There is still relief we can get,” said Stuart Grant, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. The company could be compelled to make more disclosures, he said.

Simon Property has interests in 325 properties in North America, Europe and Asia, with 5,500 U.S. employees.

The case is Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System v. Bergstein, CA No. 7764, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net Andrew Dunn, Peter Blumberg

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.