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Murdock sued by Dole Food shareholders

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  • STAR-ADVERTISER / JAN. 6, 2008

    David H. Murdock, former Castle & Cooke, Inc. chairman, speaks at a solar farm dedication ceremony on Lanai on Jan. 6, 2008.

DOVER, Del. >> Two Texas public employee retirement funds have filed a shareholder lawsuit in Delaware challenging a deal in which Dole Food chairman and CEO David Murdock took the company private.

The proposed class action suit was filed this week in federal court in Wilmington by the San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund and the Fire & Police Health Care Fund, San Antonio.

The complaint claims that Dole, Murdock and former company president C. Michael Carter misled investors about Dole’s operations and finances so that Murdock could buy the fruit and vegetable business on the cheap.

Murdock bought Dole for about $1.6 billion, or $13.50 a share, in 2013.

In August, a Delaware Chancery Court judge ordered that Murdock and Carter pay $148 million in damages for misleading directors and shareholders in the deal.

On Monday, attorneys filed a settlement in the chancery lawsuit, subject to court approval, that calls for Murdock to pay damages, on behalf of all defendants, of just under $101 million, plus at least $13 million in interest.

A spokeswoman for Dole did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

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