Delaware Court Denies Staples' Motion to Dismiss Shareholder Suit Alleging Backdating of Stock Options, Announces Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP and Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.

BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Delaware Court of Chancery has denied a motion by Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPLS) and certain of its officers and directors to dismiss a derivative lawsuit brought by a stockholder of the company, announces Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP and Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. The lawsuit alleges that, on at least twelve dates during the period 1994-2003, Staples issued a total of some 7.5 million stock options that were illegally backdated. According to the complaint in the case, this backdating caused the exercise price of these options to be artificially low, allowing Staples insiders to reap millions of dollars in wrongful profits. The lawsuit seeks damages and an order compelling the officers involved to turn over these illicit profits to the company.

The Court also ruled, however, that because the plaintiff stockholder purchased Staples stock on February 5, 1998, under Delaware Law she was only entitled to prosecute the lawsuit with respect to backdated options issued on or after this date. The court said that it was "concerned" that this aspect of its decision "will deprive the stockholders of any 'reasonable opportunity to rectify' the corporate aberration alleged to have taken place" before February 1998. It observed, however, that another shareholder who has held Staples stock continuously from prior to February 5, 1998 to the present might be able to join the litigation and seek to recover damages for any illegal options grants prior to that date.

You may qualify to serve as such a plaintiff if you acquired Staples common stock prior to February 5, 1998 (or if you assumed ownership by operation of law, such as through a bequest, from someone who acquired the stock prior to that date) and have held Staples stock continuously through the present.

You may contact plaintiffs' counsel listed below if you have questions or for more information.


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