Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2012

Barclays Capital and the Sale of Del Monte Foods

by John Coates, Clayton Rose and David Lane

Abstract

This case explores the reputational and legal issues that arise as Barclays Capital attempted to manage client conflicts by following established industry practice in the face of changing legal norms. In February 2011, Judge Travis Laster granted a preliminary injunction that delayed for 20 days a shareholder vote on the sale of Del Monte Foods Co. (Del Monte) to a consortium of three private equity firms. In his opinion, Laster was critical of Del Monte's board, noting that the directors may not have properly exercised their fiduciary duties, and the private equity firms. However, he saved his most severe criticism for an organization that was not even a party to the suit: the company's financial advisor, Barclays Capital. He suggested that Barclays had placed its own interests ahead of the company's in its actions and advice.

Keywords: client management; Fiduciary Duty; Mergers & Acquisitions; investment banking; private equity; Ethics; Finance; Reputation; Banking Industry; United States;

Citation:

Coates, John, Clayton Rose, and David Lane. "Barclays Capital and the Sale of Del Monte Foods." Harvard Business School Case 313-036, July 2012.