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LEADING ECONOMIC CONSULTING FIRM THE WEFA GROUP FACES SUIT SEEKING OVER $50 MILLION IN ACTUAL AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES

 DALLAS, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A suit filed against companies known collectively as The WEFA Group, a leading provider of economic consulting services, seeks more than $50 million in actual and punitive damages on behalf of plaintiffs Wharton Information Services Group, Inc., Original Research II Corporation and InfoVest Corporation.
 In addition to WEFA, Inc., and Swiss Corporation WEF, A.G., the suit names as a defendant Gerard Vila, chief executive officer of WEFA, Inc.
 WEFA, Inc., is headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in U.S. and foreign cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Frankfort, Milan and Toronto.
 According to the complaint filed in Dallas County in the 192nd Judicial District Court, WEFA, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is a successor to Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, Inc., and to Chase Econometrics, Inc. The complaint identifies WEF, A.G., as a Swiss corporation owned and directed by a Gurnsey Trust controlled and directed by Freddy Salem, a trust beneficiary.
 "Damages sought in this action stem from The WEFA Group's violation of January 1991, December 1991 and July 1992 agreements," said InfoVest Corporation Vice President, Associate General Counsel Carl Mergele.
 The complaint alleges that The WEFA Group divulged confidential information, negotiated with third parties, and conspired to prevent timely provision of information required for completion of due diligence.
 In January 1991, according to the complaint, InfoVest Corporation, a Delaware corporation, proposed that two of its subsidiary corporations be joined with substantially all the assets and business of The WEFA Group.
 Wharton Information Services Group, Inc., the entity created through combination of the companies, would be an information company with the strengths of an extensive database, a broad client base receiving econometric forecasting services, and significant data management capacity. On or about Jan. 28, 1991, the suit claims, InfoVest and The WEFA Group entered into an agreement governing evaluation of the proposal, including obligations of confidentiality.
 According to the complaint, Freddy Salem and two or more of the defendants conspired to induce InfoVest Corporation to waive its rights and entitlements thereunder in favor of a Dec. 6, 1991, agreement which specified guidelines for confidential completion of due diligence.
 In July 1992, the complaint alleges, Freddy Salem entered into a verbal agreement to sell The WEFA Group.
 Plaintiffs charge that Wharton Information Services Group, Inc., and Original Research II Corporation expended time and monies of no less than $2 million in due diligence investigation of The WEFA Group. During the period, the suit claims, Freddy Salem controlled and directed The WEFA Group's breaches, frauds and conspiracies in "an apparent international conspiracy to defraud and damage" the plaintiffs.
 The Dallas law firm of Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, L.L.P. represents plaintiffs in the suit. The law firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthall represents the defendants.
 -0- 2/10/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas Figel of Figel Inc., 312-335-9281; or Carl Mergele, VP and associate general counsel of InfoVest, 703-750-3093, or today at 214-871-8263/


CO: The WEFA Group; Wharton Information Services Group, Inc.;
 Original Research II Corporation; InfoVest Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


GK -- NY096 -- 5354 02/10/93 16:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 10, 1993
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