Shareholder Sues Casey’s

One day after Casey’s General Stores Inc. received a letter from shareholder ClearBridge Advisors urging Casey’s to participate in talks with Couche-Tard, another shareholder is suing the company for neglecting stockholder interests, the Des Moines Register reported.

West Des Moines, Iowa attorney J. Barton Goplerud sued Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s on Tuesday on behalf of veterinarian Richard Howie, a Mount Pleasant veterinarian, and all other similarly situated Casey’s shareholders.

The lawsuit asserts that Casey’s General Stores is neglecting company stockholders by failing to complete “an appropriate evaluation of all alternatives” as the convenience store chain seeks to block a hostile takeover attempt. It alleges that Casey’s chief executive and board members have breached their fiduciary duty to shareholders by refusing to negotiate with Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard.

The suit asks a Polk County judge to block “any material transactions or changes to Casey’s business and assets unless and until a proper process is conducted to evaluate Casey’s strategic alternatives under the supervision of the court.”

“A fully negotiated transaction will likely deliver higher value for Casey’s stockholders than a hostile acquisition,” the lawsuit said. “The board is obligated to negotiate and explore Couche-Tard’s offer in order to define what course is in the best interests of Casey’s public stockholders.”

Casey’s also is facing a similar Polk County class-action lawsuit filed by a different lawyer in April.

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