Promega display (copy)

Promega Corp. sells more than 3,500 products for use in biotechnology research, drug discovery and DNA identification. A lawsuit against the Fitchburg company, filed by a couple of longtime shareholders, is set for trial in July.

Trial is scheduled in July for the lawsuit involving Promega Corp. and a couple of its longtime shareholders.

Stockholders Nathan Brand and Ted Kellner filed suit against the Fitchburg biotech and its founder and CEO Bill Linton in 2016, claiming Linton and Promega's board of directors refuse to give them fair value for their stake in the privately-owned company, a worldwide supplier of research products and DNA identification kits.

Linton and Promega filed counterclaims, saying Brand and Kellner orchestrated an attempt to take over the company after the board rejected their demands for what the board considered excessive payback for their stock.

Counterclaims against a third shareholder, Paul Shain, were dismissed by the judge and will not be refiled. Attorneys for Linton and Promega did not submit amended versions by the deadline the judge had set.

The case is being heard before Dane County Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn.

Promega, founded in 1978, has about 1,500 employees worldwide, including nearly 900 in Dane County, and tallied $386 million revenue in fiscal 2017.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.