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Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Busch offer ‘just ridiculous’

Maris nephew testifies in trial against St. Louis brewery

May 30, 2001

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

Bart Maris, 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 Maris 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.

Bart 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-Busch made a second offer of $21.5 million. He also said the family rejected $42 million from another distributor.

Maris said his father, Rudy Maris, the president of the company, had set a $60 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The brewery's lawyers say the Marises are not entitled to the money because the distributorship repackaged outdated beer, falsified reports, had dirty warehouses and ignored warnings.

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