Judge Throws Out Ketchup Company Lawsuits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed multiple lawsuits challenging the proposed $23.3 billion buyout of H.J. Heinz Co.

The ruling issued Monday afternoon by Judge Christine A. Ward means shareholders can proceed with Tuesday's scheduled vote on the buyout.

Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen says the company is pleased with the decision, and expects shareholders to "overwhelmingly approve" the $72.50 per share sale. U.S. authorities have already signed off on the deal announced in February.

The Pittsburgh-based company known for its ketchup is being acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, a private investment firm run by Brazilian billionaires.

The lawsuits had claimed the deal shortchanged shareholders. When debt is included, the deal is worth $28 billion.

U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone previously dismissed similar federal lawsuits.

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