Apple lambasts shareholder lawsuit as “silly”

<p>Apple has criticised a shareholder’s lawsuit as he tries to get the company to unlock some of its cash reserves.</p>

Apple boss Tim Cook has lambasted a lawsuit brought by an activist shareholder, but claimed the board is looking into how the company can help shareholders get a better return on their investment.

Mr Cook branded David Einhorn's case as a "silly sideshow", as it aims to block plans by the Californian technology giant to ask shareholders to vote on whether to abolish a contractual right that the company enjoys to issue preference shares without limit.

Apple already announced a plan to return to shareholders a $45 billion (£28.7 billion) sum of the $98 billion in cash reserves that were sitting idle, but Mr Einhorn unveiled fresh legal action last week aimed at returning even more value.

The shareholder accused Apple of adopting a "Depression-era mentality" by hoarding large sums of cash for no obvious reason, but Apple says it has these reserves so it is ready to make a major acquisition as and when the opportunity presents itself.

At close of play on the technology-heavy Nasdaq last night (February 12th), shares in Apple slumped by 2.5 per cent to $467.90 per unit.

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