SuperValu Shareholders Sue to Block $2.9B Buyout

(CN) – SuperValu Inc. shareholders filed a class action challenging United Natural Foods’ plan to buy the grocery chain for $2.9 billion.

Lead plaintiff Brian Wallace filed the action on behalf of others similarly situated in Delaware District Court against SuperValu and its board of directors. The Minnesota-based grocery chain is the fifth largest in the U.S. and announced the acquisition by UNFI on July 25, where SuperValu investors will receive $32.50 per share in cash. According to the lawsuit, approximately one month after the announcement, SuperValu’s directors filed “materially incomplete and misleading” statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission trying to induce investors to vote in favour of the deal.

The lawsuit asserts that the SEC filings were incomplete or misleading about the company’s financial projections and potential conflicts of interest due to a prior business relationship between the company’s financial advisors, Barclay’s Capital and Lazares Freres & Co., and SuperValu.

The lawsuit says SuperValu is “well-positioned for financial growth” and claim it is imperative that investors be allowed access to the allegedly missing information about the merger.

Investors are represented by Michael Van Gorder of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP in Wilmington, Del. and of counsel: Nadeem Faruqi and James M. Wilson, Jr. in New York

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