Dutch court dismisses TPG suit vs Strauss Coffee

JERUSALEM Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:31am EST

JERUSALEM Dec 25 (Reuters) - A Dutch court dismissed a suit brought by private equity firm TPG against Strauss Coffee, parent company Strauss Group said on Wednesday.

Israel-based Strauss, in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, did not provide further details.

A month ago, TPG had asked a specialised Dutch court to order an inquiry into the affairs of Strauss Coffee, in which it holds a 25 percent stake, claiming Strauss Group had abused its rights in the company.

The request came after TPG had been looking to sell the stake, for which it paid $293 million in 2008.

TPG had based its claim on what it called the abuse by Strauss Group of its majority shareholder rights, saying the group had overcharged Strauss Coffee for "non-existent and/or insufficient services" by many millions of euros.

TPG also cited the proposed dismissal of Strauss Coffee Chief Executive Todd Morgan, despite his being credited with leading an increase in the turnover and profitability of the company. Morgan was TPG's board representative to Strauss Coffee before he became CEO three and a half years ago.

In its filing with the Dutch Enterprise Chamber, which hears corporate governance disputes, TPG had sought an injunction against Morgan's dismissal and the appointment of an independent director to Strauss Coffee's board.

Strauss Coffee is a Dutch-registered company.

In July, Strauss - Israel's second largest food and beverage maker - said it and TPG were examining options for the sale of TPG's holding in Strauss Coffee after TPG held the stake for five years.

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