UAL Moves to Block CFO Deposition

January 13, 2003 ( - UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, has asked the judge overseeing its bankruptcy case to block State Street Bank & Trust Co. from taking a court deposition of the airline's chief financial officer.

Dow Jones reported that UAL said State Street Bank & Trust’s request to depose Frederic Brace is “unnecessary, duplicative and unduly harassing.”

The issue centers around State Street’s request to sell the 13 million shares of UAL stock it holds as trustee to the airline’s employee stock-ownership plan.

State Street said the stock price was sure to decline over time and that it needed to sell immediately. But UAL said such a large stock sale could alter ownership control and in turn cost the company billions in future tax breaks.

Earlier Monday, UAL said it gave permission for State Street to sell the shares after determining the move wouldn’t alter the company’s ownership structure. (See  UAL ESOP Cleared for “Sell” Off).  

According to UAL’s motion, State Street has refused to withdraw its deposition even though the bank had the opportunity to question Brace at a December 30 hearing and the company has made another executive available for questioning, Dow Jones said.