Judge: Heinz sale can proceed

Judge dismisses Heinz shareholder lawsuit, says sale can proceed

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed multiple lawsuits over the proposed $28 billion buyout of H.J. Heinz Co.

The ruling issued Monday afternoon by Judge Christine A. Ward means that shareholders can proceed with a Tuesday morning vote on the buyout in New York.

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 sale.

The Pittsburgh-based company known for its ketchup had announced in February that it was being acquired and taken private by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, a private investment firm run by Brazilian billionaires.

The lawsuit had claimed that the deal shortchanges shareholders.

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

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