Del Monte Corporation and Barclays Capital Inc. have agreed to settle shareholder lawsuits over Del Monte’s sale to an investor group. As part of the settlement, Del Monte will pay shareholders up to $65.7 million, while Barclays will pay shareholders $23.7 million. The settlement must be approved by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
The shareholders had filed a lawsuit against Del Monte’s buyout by the investor group KKR & Co. The shareholders alleged that the directors on Del Monte’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duty, and that the directors purposely misled investors about the deal.
Barclays is involved because it advised Del Monte in the buyout. Investors named Barclays in the lawsuit claiming that the company suffered a conflict of interest because it not only advised Del Monte in the buyout, but also provided some of the financing for KKR & Co. As part of the settlement, both Del Monte and Barclays deny any wrongdoing in the buyout.
San Diego business disputes lawyers use the term “fiduciary duty” to refer to a special kind of duty that exists between certain parties. It is a legal relationship of trust or confidence when one party places the utmost trust in another to manage money or property. When this duty has been breached, a person can file a civil action for breach of fiduciary duty in order to recover damages. To prove breach of fiduciary duty, it is important to prove that there was a special duty that existed between the two parties, and that there was a breach of this duty.