U.S. Sugar deal not at all sweet for employees, shareholders — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

U.S. Sugar deal not at all sweet for employees, shareholders

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Employees and shareholders of U.S. Sugar Corp., based in Clewiston, have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the company’s owners deprived them of a chance to sell their shares at a substantial profit. They charge that the actions of U.S. Sugar’s board wound up costing them $150 million.

The lawsuit alleges that company directors struck a deal with an outside firm in August 2005 to sell U.S. Sugar for $575 million, or $293 per share. That was 51% higher than the share price employees were receiving from the company at the time.

The lawsuit claims that within days of the deal, Chairman William White, along with his wife, Claire Mott White, fired then-CEO Robert Dolson and wired him $10 million in exchange for his silence.

U.S. Sugar then allegedly canceled the sale of the company, which represented employees’ only chance in decades to sell their stock to a third party, even as it continued to buy back employee stock at almost $100 less per share.

U.S. Sugar has denied the allegations.

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