Paul Hastings Represents David H. Murdock and Secures Initial Litigation Victories in Challenge to Taking Dole Private
Palo Alto, CA -- Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm is representing David H. Murdock, chairman and CEO of Dole Food Company, Inc., in several putative class actions filed in Delaware and California challenging his agreement to take Dole private. Paul Hastings and the other defense counsel were successful in moving the California court to stay the consolidated action and in defeating a motion by the Delaware plaintiffs to expedite proceedings so as to seek to enjoin the merger. The Delaware court found that the plaintiffs could not show a threat of irreparable injury that justified expedited proceedings and an injunction hearing. The case will now move forward in normal course in Delaware.
The underlying putative class action complaints were filed in both California and Delaware after the June 10, 2013 announcement of Mr. Murdock’s offer to take Dole private, with five actions eventually being filed in California and eight actions filed in Delaware. The complaints, as well as the consolidated complaint in Delaware, allege that Mr. Murdock and members of Dole’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties related to the proposed buyout, facilitating Mr. Murdock’s efforts to potentially acquire Dole at an unfair price. The plaintiffs sought to prevent the transaction as well as financial damages. The Delaware cases have been consolidated into the action captioned in re: Dole Food Co. Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 8703-VCL, and is pending before the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Paul Hastings partners
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2012 revenues from continuing operations of $4.2 billion, is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research.
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