Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Williams Companies Settlement (Part II)

Seems like everybody was right, sort of.

The litigation is being settled for $311 million. The company, officers and directors, and underwriters (or their insurers) are contributing $290 million and Williams' outside auditors, Ernst & Young, are contributing $21 million.

On August 28, 2004 the Court granted the motions of the Lead Plaintiffs and their counsel to withdraw. The Court then re-opened the lead plaintiff process and set a new deadline for filing lead plaintiff motions. Several parties filed new motions and on January 18, 2005, Chief Judge Sven Erik Holmes appointed the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board and the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System as co-lead plaintiffs and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP as lead counsel.

My preliminary research indicates that the Williams settlements dwarf the size of other securities class action settlements in Oklahoma. The largest I have found to date was the $6.2 million settlement in 1997 relating to the demise of Skolnik's Inc., the franchisor of Skolnik's Bagel Bakery restaurants.

Further submissions from readers are, of course, welcome.

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