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Report NY Bank Never Signed Pact

April 24, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Executives of Bank of New York, which is making an aggressive bid to take over Mellon Bank Corp., never signed the confidentiality agreement that Mellon Bank is suing them for violating, a newspaper reported Friday.

The lack of a signature on the documents was reported by people who have seen the documents and spoke on condition of anonymity, The New York Times said.

A call to Bank of New York was not returned immediately. Mellon declined to say if the agreement was signed or whether such an omission might affect its lawsuit.

``If there’s no confidentiality agreement, then there’s no prohibition against using the information,″ said Morton Pierce, a banking-law attorney with the New York firm of Dewey, Ballantine.

Mellon Bank sued Bank of New York to stop it from pursuing its $23 billion, unsolicited offer to buy the Pittsburgh banking company.

The lawsuit said Bank of New York violated an agreement by using confidential information gathered last year during failed merger talks to pursue its unsolicited offer. Mellon provided such documents as non-public financial statements and profitability reports for some business units.

Mellon Bank filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, charging breach of contract, bad faith, fraud and misappropriation.

The suit also said Bank of New York ``has taken, is taking and in the future will take steps to acquire Mellon through a hostile offer or other similar methods.″

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