Beam said it will strongly defend itself against the claims

Beam said it will strongly defend itself against the claims

Beam Inc has dismissed a US law firm’s claims about its conduct involving the proposed US$16bn takeover by Suntory as “baseless”. 

Financial litigation specialists Finkelstein Thompson said today (14 January) that it is investigating potential claims by Beam shareholders around how the deal, announced yesterday, was handled by the company’s board. 

“The investigation is focused on whether Beam’s board of directors breached its fiduciary duty in failing to maximise consideration to shareholders, the potential unfairness of the consideration to shareholders, the process by which the board considered the transaction, and potential conflicts of interest among the company’s board members,” Finkelstein Thompson said. 

However, in a statement to just-drinks, a Beam spokesperson said: “These efforts are baseless and without merit. The company will vigorously defend against any and all such claims.”

Beam shareholders are set to receive $83.50 per share if the deal completes as expected in 2014’s second quarter. JP Morgan analyst, John Faucher, was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “It’s a good deal for Beam shareholders."

However, Faucher also suggested that Beam "did not appear to fully shop itself around... as the deal came together quickly".

Most analysts have ruled out the possibility of counter bids by other global spirits groups