Tyson Foods Wins Summary Judgment

The 10b-5 Daily has posted previously about the interesting securities class action brought against Tyson Foods, Inc. in connection with the company’s 2001 acquisition of IBP Inc.

The plaintiffs in the case are a group of hedge funds who were seeking to arbitrage the merger. They allege that on March 29, 2001, Tyson falsely stated that it was backing out of the merger with IBP due to a government investigation into accounting discrepancies at one of IBP’s units. As a result, Tyson artificially deflated the price of IBP’s stock. Tyson eventually completed the acquisition in September 2001, after being ordered to perform on the merger contract by a Delaware state court. The plaintiffs represent all IBP shareholders who bought on or before March 29, 2001, and then sold their shares following Tyson’s announcement.

The Associated Press reports that the D. of Del. has granted summary judgment in favor of Tyson in the case. According to the article, the court found that the father-son team that ran Tyson at the time was “under no duty to tell shareholders the business reasons for their decision not to go forward with the deal.”

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