Opening another round in the fight for control of the Macke Co., based in suburban Cheverly, Allegheny Beverage Corp. of Baltimore yesterday accused Macke of violating federal securities laws and demanded $75 million in damages from the big vending machine operator.
Alleheny also charged Macke with fraud, interfering with Allegheny's business relations and taking other illegal actions in opposing Allegheny's attempts to buy control of Macke.
Allegheny's allegations were made in a counterclaim filed in response to an earlier lawsuit that Macke filed against Allegheny. Macke last month accused Allegheny of breaking federal law by secretly buying a large block of Macke's shares.
The lastest charges in the bitter take-over fight were made by Allegheny Beverage vice president David S. Klein.
The battle begain in April when Allegheny offered to buy out Macke's largest shareholders, who own 23 percent of the company. By that time Allegheny, which holds Pepsi Cola and Dr. Pepper franchises in the area, had already purchased 4.8 percent of Macke's stock on the open market.
If the offer had been accepted, Allegheny, with sales of $129 million last year would have taken control of a company twice as big; Macke's vending machines, restaurants and furniture stores reported 1979 sales of $261 million, though its profits of $5.7 million were not much better than Allegheny's earning of $4.8 million.
But the bid was rejected by Macke Chairman Meyer Gelfand and his family and by former chairman Aaron Goldman and his family, who said they weren't interested in selling the company they have controlled for a quarter of a century.
After the offer to the Gelfand and Goldman group was rejected, Allegheny began buying more Macke stock on the open market, purchasing about 10 percent of the shares through a Canadian brokerage firm.
Last month Macke filed a lawsuit claiming those purchases were illegal because Allegheny did not disclose publicly that it was trying to buy control. bAllegheny respond by announcing it intended to keep buying Macke stock until it obtained at least 25 percent of the shares.