Shareholders of Dole Food Co. sued the company’s board of directors for violating its fiduciary duties in connection with the $645 million offer by David Murdock, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Dole.
Dole’s stock price fell from a high of $15.19 on September 12, 2012 to its recent low of $9.27 on June 4. After Murdock’s buyout offer to pay shareholders $12.00 for each share of Dole stock they own was announced, Dole shares traded above $12 per share on heavy volume.
“If the board approves the proposed transaction, it will have rubber stamped the transaction without determining whether it maximizes values to minority shareholders,” the investors said in the Delaware Chancery Court suit, asking a judge to bar the deal from proceeding.
David Murdock is the largest stockholder of Dole and already controls approximately 40% of the total number of outstanding shares.