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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alberto Culver (ACV) has settled a legal dispute with shareholders over its its acquisition by consumer giant Unilever (UL) for $3.7 billion.

The shareholders, represented by litigators Grant & Eisenhofer and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, took on Alberto Culver with the view that its talks with Unilever had discouraged other potential bidders from stepping in with a better offer.

According to the law firms, part of the settlement involves Alberto Culver's agreement to consider any superior offers that do come in. Also, the company said in an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it and Unilever have agreed to lower the termination fee that the former would pay, should a more preferable offer come in, to $100 million, from $125 million.

In light of these amendments, Alberto Culver added that its shareholders meeting will convene as scheduled on Dec. 13, but that it will be immediately adjourned without any voting on the merger. Instead, the votes will now take place on Dec. 17.

Despite the amendments, Alberto Culver says that it admits to no wrongdoing and asserts the amendments were made only help smooth out the merger process.

"The defendants have denied, and continue to deny, that any of them has committed or has threatened to commit any wrongdoing, violation of law or breach of duty to any plaintiff in these lawsuits," the company said in the SEC filing.

The group of shareholders who were involved in the dispute include Laborers Local 235, City of Riviera Beach, Oklahoma Firefighters and KBC Asset Management.

Shares of Alberto Culver are flat at $37.22 in morning trading, while Unilever is down 1.5% to $27.99.

The Alberto Culver dispute over the Unilever acquisition proposal comes as the latter eyes major acquisitions again. Recently, Unilever's offer to purchase

Sara Lee's

( SLE) international toiletry assets was approved by the European Union regulators, but only after some concessions.

>>Sara Lee Stock Up on Unilever's EU Nod

Prior to this Sara Lee deal, it's been almost a decade since Unilever acquired any major businesses, and its purchase of the Sara Lee portfolio of more than 90 brands in 19 European countries will certainly assist with its international expansion plans and in tfacilitating the seller's goal of focusing on its core food and beverages businesses.

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Sara Lee stock is down 0.5% to $15.01.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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>>Sara Lee Stock Up on Unilever's EU Nod

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