“Dole Foods is probably the best example of the corruption potential that exists in the shareholder communications infrastructure. David Murdock took the company public, then essentially ripped off a bunch of elderly police officers and firefighters, rigged the vote, then bought back the company for significantly less than it was worth. At the time, he was struggling with loans connected to his $450 000 000 hotel that he had recently built directly across from Dole’s corporate headquarters. The interest rate, prior to his decision to take the company public, had been increased to 13.875%.
(August 30, 2007) “Bond investors may wish Murdock would spend less time on his health crusade and more improving Dole’s bottom line. Last year, the company lost $89 million on $6.2 billion in sales. The assessment of its $2.4 billion in bonds and bank debt by Fitch Ratings ranges from “speculative” to “high default risk.”.
(28 Mar 2005) “Moody’s expects leverage to remain high in support of Mr. Murdock’s strategic initiatives, such as construction of a wellness center and acquisition of other food product lines with perceived health benefits”.
He ripped off the pension funds by manipulating the share price through the propagation of knowingly false information about the company’s cost savings estimates from one of the largest asset sales in the food industry’s entire history, that being the sale of his Asia pacific division to ITOCHU ..
But here is the key: look at the vote tally.
“Dole held a special meeting of stockholders on October 31, 2013. A narrow majority of 50.9% of the disinterested shares voted in favor*,* 21.2% voted against, 10.5% abstained, and 17.4% did not vote. The transaction closed on November 1, 2013“
Experts have claimed that due to a banks ability to invent fictitious owners, that a margin of victory of anything under 5% can easily be manipulated..
“The existing system of shareholder voting is crude, imprecise, and fragile. Gil Sparks, a leading Delaware lawyer, estimates that, in a contest that is closer than 55 to 45%, there is no verifiable answer to the question “who won?” “
And what do you know, Dole turns out to be the only company in American history caught red handed with more shareholders than shares actually in existence..
IN THE COURT OF CHANCERY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
IN RE DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. STOCKHOLDER LITIGATION
“There were 36,793,758 shares in the class. At the conclusion of the claims process, however, claimants had submitted facially valid claims for 49,164,415 shares“.
…..”Despite diligent efforts, the settlement administrator and class counsel could not resolve the discrepancy“.
According the Court of Delaware, finding out who the true owners of the largest fruit company in the world would require a ‘herculean effort‘, one for which ” “The journey down the rabbit hole would require mapping the entire warren“
Suppose we shouldn’t expect any less from a district that allows confessed infant rapists ( not child, but infant) to get off on probation because the persons family (The Du Pont’s) is too rich and powerful to meaningfully prosecute..
All this so he could build his sh*t hotel.”