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Maris trial: family recalls Anheuser's offer as "ridiculous".

Associated Press-- A nephew of Roger Mans testified Tuesday that a $21 million offer from Anheuser-Busch for the family's beer distributorship was "just ridiculous."

Bart Mails, a lawyer and an administrator for Maris Distributing Co., is the sixth witness in the family's $1.2 billion lawsuit against the St. Louis brewery.

Roger Mails, a Fargo, N.D., native, received the distributorship for the Gainesville and Ocala areas after he retired from baseball in 1968. When the former home run king died in 1985, his family ran the franchise until the St. Louis company took it back several years ago.

Bait Maris said the brewery's $21 million offer for their business was too small.

"It was just ridiculous," Maris said. "That was my reaction when I saw the offer."

Maris said Anheuser-Bush made a second offer of $21.5 million. He also said the family rejected S42 million from another distributor.

Maris said his father, Rudy Maris, the president of the company, had set a S60 million asking price for the business.

Bart Maris testified last week that the distributorship made more than $21 million in profits from 1993 to 1996.

The family is seeking $1.3 billion in compensatory damages from Anheuser-Busch, which pulled the distributorship in 1997.

Maris' relatives also contend the brewery defamed them by falsifying poor evaluations before closing the distributorship.

The brewery's lawyers say the Marises are not entitled to the money because the distributorship violated the terms of the agreement Anheuser-Busch claimed Maris repackaged outdated beer, falsified reports, had dirty warehouses and ignored warnings.

Four weeks into the trial, the jury has heard from only six witnesses. The trial could last more than two months.
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Title Annotation:Maris Distributing Co., Anheuser-Busch acquisition offer
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 11, 2001
Words:280
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