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MINNEAPOLIS - In an even more bizarre twist on a story reported earlier this week that the president of Rainbow Foods had challenged Cub Foods' president to a wrestling match to resolve a business dispute, Rainbow has now announced it wants to rumble for charity.
On Monday, Tom Dahlen of Rainbow issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to John H. Hooley -- his counterpart at Cub -- to resolve a business dispute by a wrestling match. In keeping with the spirit of the challenge, Rainbow has asked Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to referee the match at a date convenient for all parties.
Last Friday, Cub Foods filed a lawsuit against Rainbow Foods over allegedly receiving Cub's ad information in advance. Rainbow filed counterclaims alleging Cub's misappropriation of Rainbow's confidential trade secret information, employee raiding and other anti-competitive practices.
A letter from Rainbow on Monday challenged Hooley to resolve the dispute by participating in a friendly wrestling match. Dubbed the "Rainbow Rumble," both companies would offer a $50,000 pledge donated in the name of the winning company to Second Harvest Heartland, the local affiliate to America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.
Although Hooley has yet to accept the challenge, a response appeared late Monday in local media from Cub's attorney, B. Todd Jones of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, saying the proposal to resolve the disagreement "trivializes what we believe are legitimate and serious allegations."
"I offered my phone number to Hooley and haven't heard a response. We challenged Cub's president to this match, not his lawyer," said Dahlen. "Let the lawyers push their briefs around all they want in court. I'm asking a competitor to demonstrate humility for the sake of benefiting our community. This is a more productive way for our companies to resolve our disagreements."