CAMDEN, N.J. -- Campbell Soup Co. here is facing several lawsuits seeking compensation for shareholders who claim Campbell's inflated its stock by claiming phantom sales between Nov. 18, 1997, and Jan. 8, 1999.
Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, and Supervalu, Minneapolis, are mentioned among companies that participated, although perhaps not knowingly, according to one of the plaintiff's lawyers. Defendants are Campbell Soup Co.; Dale F. Morrison, president and chief executive officer; and Basil L. Anderson, chief financial officer.
"Campbell arranged for hundreds of trucks to line up at each of Campbell's four U.S. facilities on the last days of each quarter and physically move product from one place to another within the same Campbell facility, or to ship the product to warehouses owned or leased by Campbell or under Campbell's control," alleges the complaint filed on behalf of Laborers Local 1298 Pension Fund, Hempstead, N.Y., represented by Schoengold & Sporn, New York.
Neither Fleming nor Supervalu had any comment.
"We believe the suit is without merit and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously," said John Faulkner, a spokesman for Campbell Soup.