09/03/2015 // JusticeNewsFlash // (press release)
Delaware – Dole Food CEO David Murdock and former company president and chief operating officer C. Michael Carter have been ordered to pay $148 million in damages over a breach of fiduciary duties. As reported by the Associated Press, a Delaware judge said Thursday that the Murdock, 92, breached their duties of loyalty in structuring a buyout of $1.2 billion in cash, misleading shareholders and directors.
Vice Chancellor Travis Laster stated that a board was able to negotiate an increase in the $12 per share initial offer by Murdock, but wrote that “what the committee could not overcome, what the stockholder vote could not cleanse, and what even an arguably fair price does not immunize, is fraud.” The damage award has a value of approximately $2.74 per share.
Stuart Grant, an attorney who represents shareholders in case said in a prepared statement following the judge’s decision, “We are extremely pleased not only with the large financial recovery, but the forceful way in which the court excoriated the defendants for the brazen way they tried to hijack Dole for their own advantage in taking the company private.”