Imperial Sugar sale under scrutiny
Lawyers claim shareholders might not have gotten a fair price
The Imperial Sugar Company has announced that it will be acquired as a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC — but at least three law firms feel the shareholders got a raw deal.
The deal, which was announced Tuesday, May 1, includes a$6.35-per-share price and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.
Imperial Sugar says the figure “represents a 57% premium to Imperial Sugar’s closing stock price on April 30, 2012, the last trading day prior to [the] announcement, and a 50% premium to Imperial Sugar’s trailing 30-day volume weighted average stock price.”
However, at least three different law firms already have announced plans to investigate the deal, including: Harwood Feffer, LLP; Brodsky & Smith, LLC; and Bernstein Liebhard LLP.
In a news release, Brodsky & Smith say the transaction may undervalue Imperial Sugar’s shares.
“Imperial Sugar stock traded at $24.49 on Aug. 2, 2011, and traded at $7.03 as recently as Feb. 13, 2012,” the law firm says. “In addition, an analyst has set a price target for Imperial Sugar stock at $20 per share.”
News of the acquisition comes nearly five months after Imperial Sugar announced plans to sell its stake in the Louisiana Sugar Refining, LLC (LSR). As a result of giving up its 1/3 ownership, Cargill and Sugar Growers and Refiners, Inc., (SUGAR) each ended up with 50% interest in the million-ton-per-year sugar refinery.
Imperial Sugar is one of the largest processors and marketers of refined sugar in the United States to food manufacturers, retail grocers and foodservice distributors. The company markets products nationally under the Imperial, Dixie Crystals, and Holly brands.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC and its subsidiaries have a highly diversified agricultural business in North America and operate in the cotton, grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee, and juice markets.