US: Mondavi lawsuit fails – sale gets closer

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A judge has ruled that the shareholder lawsuit against the pending sale of Robert Mondavi to Constellation lacks evidence. Napa Superior Court Presiding Judge W. Scott Snowden rejected a request for a restraining order to block the US$1.36bn sale, scheduled to be completed today (22 December). The judge stopped short, however, of throwing the claims out completely.

Connecticut-based Bamboo Partners, a firm that holds common shares in Mondavi, claimed the winery's articles of incorporation clearly call for a prospective buyer to treat all shareholders equally. Constellation offered Mondavi family shareholders and others who held class B stock US$65.82 per share, while offering to pay only US$56.50 per share of class A public stock.

But Snowden said the articles of incorporation do not necessarily lead to that conclusion.

After the ruling, a lawyer for Bamboo said that he would talk with his client about how to proceed, but said this was merely a preliminary stage of the lawsuit.

Sectors: Wine

Companies: Constellation Brands

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