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Shareholder Suit Against InterDent Is Dismissed

Courts: Plaintiffs had sought to block a planned $325-million buyout, which was canceled this month.

May 25, 2000|From Bloomberg News

WILMINGTON, Del. — InterDent Inc. won dismissal of a lawsuit filed by shareholders who said they wouldn't get enough for their stock in a planned $325-million buyout. The acquisition was canceled this month.

El Segundo-based InterDent, the largest U.S. dental-practice management company, said last October it would be bought for $9.50 per share in cash by inside investors and Leonard Green & Partners LP. Shareholders claimed in a suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court that the company was worth more, but the shares fell below $4 this spring.

InterDent announced on May 4 that it had dropped plans to be acquired in favor of a $30-million investment in secured senior notes by undisclosed parties, prompting lawyers for the company and the shareholders to end litigation. Judge Stephen Lamb dismissed the case May 18.

The new financing "shows a high degree of confidence in our long-term growth strategy," Michael Fiore, chief executive, said in a statement announcing the investment.

Shares of InterDent, which reported 1999 sales of $231.6 million, fell 31 cents to $3.31 in afternoon trading. The shares fell to a 52-week low of $3.25 last week after rising to a 52-week high of $9.13 in September 1999.

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