Firm investigating possible shareholder breach by drink maker

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Aug 30, 2012


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - A New York-based law firm said Wednesday it is investigating whether the board of directors of Monster Beverage Corp. has breached its fiduciary duties to shareholders.

Monster is one of three energy drink makers that reportedly received subpoenas from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last month.

The others include PepsiCo, the maker of AMP, and Living Essentials LLC, the maker of the popular 5-Hour Energy drink.

Reuters reported earlier this week that Schneiderman wants more information on the companies' marketing and advertising practices.

In particular, the Attorney General's Office is looking into whether the companies exaggerated the benefits of the energy drinks.

Harwood Feffer LLP -- a New York firm that specializes in "complex, multi-party litigation with an emphasis on securities and shareholder class and derivative actions" -- said in a statement Wednesday that it is looking into potential claims against Monster's board of directors.

According to the firm, Monster filed a quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 9 disclosing that it had received a subpoena from a state attorney general regarding its "advertising, marketing, promotion, ingredients, usage and sale of its Monster Energy brand of energy drinks."

On Tuesday, after the markets closed, media outlets began reporting that Schneiderman was investigating whether Monster and the other energy drink makers have deceived customers about the ingredients of their companies' products.

According to Harwood Feffer, Monster's energy drinks represented more than 90 percent of the company's revenue in 2011.

"Our investigation concerns whether the Monster board of directors has breached its fiduciary duties to shareholders, grossly mismanaged the company, and/or committed abuses of control in connection with the foregoing," the firm said in its statement.

The firm asks that Monster shareholders who wish to discuss the matter, or have questions about their rights and interests, contact attorneys Robert I. Harwood, Matthew M. Houston or Benjamin Sachs-Michaels.

Monster's stock price was listed at $58.66 Thursday afternoon, down from its opening $59.10.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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