Monday, November 27, 2006

Parmalat - Initial Settlements Roll In - More to Follow?

According to press and wire reports here (Reuters), here (Bloomberg) and here (AFX News via Forbes), Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS) and Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA (Milan: BNLR), a unit of BNP Paribas (OTC: BNPQY), have each agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims asserted against them in the Parmalat securities class action pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

According to the Forbes article:
In addition to the monetary settlement, the two financial institutions agreed to institute changes in their corporate governance that will hopefully prevent future problems, [Plaintiff's attorney Stuart] Grant said. Details of those governance changes have yet to be fully worked out, he added.
The Bloomberg article also notes that:
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is presiding over the case, urged the remaining defendants to enter settlement talks with investors who sued, Grant said. Kaplan temporarily stopped lawyers from engaging in pre-trial discovery so talks can start.
Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe, Ltd. (manager of the Hermes European Focus Funds I, II and III) and Cattolica Partecipazioni, S.p.A., Capital & Finance Asset Management S.A., Societe Moderne des Terrassements Parisiens and Solotrat are lead plaintiffs, and Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. and Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A. are co-lead counsel in the Parmalat litigation.

A copy of the third amended consolidated class action complaint can be found here.

Update: The 10b-5 Daily has a post on the settlement, here.

Daily Trivia: The Atlanta branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro was a key player in the United States' support of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, funneling nearly $5 billion to Iraq during the period from 1985 to 1989.

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