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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gundlach Says Wamco Called Him

News summary by MFWire's editors

Legg Mason unit Western Asset Management Company (Wamco) called Jeff Gundlach in February 2009 to talk about him leaving TCW [see profile]. Gundlach shared that detail yesterday on his second day of testimony in the jury trial of TCW's suit against him and of Gundlach's counter-suit.

To read the rest of the story of the fight between Gundlach and TCW, click here.

Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Pensions & Investments and Reuters all reported on Gundlach's testimony yesterday.

On July 28 an employee at Gundlach's new firm, DoubleLine [see profile], testified that Gundlach was in negotiations with Wamco before his departure [see MFWire.com, 7/29/2011], and yesterday Gundlach confirmed that such negotiations took place, but only as a precaution because French bank Societe Generale (which still owns TCW) was looking at selling TCW.

"I thought this was an extremely dangerous development, and I was scared," Gundlach reportedly testified.

Gundlach also reiterated that in September 2009 he offered to buy 51 percent of TCW for $350 million, half in cash and half with a loan from SocGen. And he stuck to his stance that his preparations for departure, before TCW fired him in December 2009, were simply contingency planning and that he had no need to steal any of TCW's data. TCW accuses Gundlach and three of his colleagues of swiping trade secrets to start up DoubleLine, while Gundlach claims they dumped him and his team to avoid shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars in fees.

Gundlach is slated to testify again today. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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