North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 2003 NCBC 3 (N.C. Super. Ct. Apr. 28, 2003)(Tennille)

The issue was whether plaintiff, which had presented a letter of intent to purchase the a non-party bottling company, had a valid and enforceable agreement. The Court found that the letter of intent was an agreement to agree at a future date which was subject to a future, more complete acquisition agreement, and it therefore was not enforceable. The Court further found that the letter of intent contained conditions precedent which had not been met.

Plaintiff's claims for tortious interference with contract were rejected because the Court found that there was no contract, although the Court observed that summary judgment would have been appropriate in any event on the basis of justification. The defendant, a competitor of plaintiff, was competing with plaintiff for the purchase of the bottling company and plaintiff could not show that it was acting with bad faith or malice so as to justify its tortious interference claim.

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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