Focus Media Buyout Lawsuit Dropped by U.S. Pension Fund

An investor in Focus Media Holding Ltd. dropped a lawsuit seeking to block the Shanghai-based advertising company’s $3.7 billion buyout by Carlyle Group LP. (CG)

Iron Workers Mid-South Pension Fund ended the suit without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled, according to a filing yesterday in federal court in San Francisco. The pension fund didn’t say why the complaint was dropped. A hearing on Focus Media’s request to dismiss the case had been set for April 1.

Focus Media agreed Dec. 19 to be acquired by a group of investors led by Carlyle in China’s biggest leveraged buyout. The company operates networks of advertising display panels in office buildings, supermarkets and other venues in China, and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2005. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter, Focus Media said in December.

The pension fund alleged that Focus Media’s board didn’t conduct a full and fair sale process to get the best value for shareholders.

The case is Iron Workers Mid-South Pension Fund v. Focus Media Holding Limited, 13-00827, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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