AWB reaches class action settlement
AWB has reached a AUS$39.5 million (€25.9m) settlement agreement with shareholders as part of a class action law suit brought on the grounds of AWB's failure to properly keep them informed of its business transactions in Iraq.
The proposed settlement is now subject to Federal Court approval, where the claimants have been pursuing the matter.
More than 1000 retail and institutional shareholders joined the class action, claiming AUS$100 million (€65.50m) in losses as a result of a drop in AWB shares when a 2006 inquiry investigated AWB’s payment of more than AUS$290 million (€190m) to the Iraq’s former Saddam Hussein regime between 1999 and 2003.
AWB shares lost about one-third of their value in the month after the Cole inquiry began in January 2006.
According to AWB, if the settlement is approved by the Federal Court the class action against AWB will be dismissed without admission of liability by AWB.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, AWB will make a payment of $39.5m to the claimants - a sum which also covers their legal costs.
In a statement to the media AWB said the proposed settlement would have no impact on the company's commercial operations or its strategic direction.
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