Avon Directors Win Dismissal of Suit Over Coty Offer

Avon Products Inc. directors won dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit alleging they failed to engage in a “substantive dialogue” with Coty Inc. on a $10 billion takeover offer.

New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten granted a request to dismiss claims by five shareholders that the 12 directors breached their fiduciary duty by not entering into discussions with Coty. Bransten barred the shareholders from refiling their claims.

“The board offered reasons for rejecting Coty’s earlier offers and sought legal and financial advice to vet Coty’s final proposal, demonstrating that the board could have been making a business judgment,” Bransten said in her March 13 decision.

Raymond Bragar, a lawyer for the shareholders, said yesterday that he hadn’t read the ruling and couldn’t comment on it.

The case is Feinman v. Avon Products Inc., 651087/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).