LABELLE, FL-Alico Inc. is advising shareholders it is imposing a self-enforced gag over any questions on the stock-valuation methods cited in a proposed settlement of a family dispute involving Ben Hill Griffin III, the company’s chairman.

Earlier this year, four sisters, as beneficiaries of the Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Revocable Intervivos Trust No. 1, filed a lawsuit that sought the chairman’s removal as trustee. The suit alleges Griffin received over-compensation and an illegal bonus.

During a civil trial in March, the parties agreed to mediate the dispute. The four sisters apparently agreed to a settlement that proposed among other things, a tax-free split-off of Alico stock held in trust. The judge approved the settlement.

However, family members of Harriet Harris, one of the four sisters, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Leon County, FL, asking that the settlement be set aside.

Alico advises shareholders the company won’t comment on Harris family allegations that the company’s stock-valuation methods used in the proposed settlement are inflated.

Announcement of the company’s decision had little impact on its publicly traded stock, which closed down five cents Monday at $26.80 on volume of 13,100. The issue has traded as high as $33.34 and as low as $15.28.

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