Shell et al Get A Day In Court For Reserve-Related Claims
Shell, Stichting Shell Reserves Compensation Foundation (the Foundation), VEB (the Dutch Shareholders Association), APG, All Pensions Group (on behalf of pension fund ABP) and PGGM (on behalf of Stichting Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn) have announced that the Amsterdam Court of Appeals (the Court) has scheduled a hearing on 20 November 2008 with respect to their request for a binding declaration of their settlement agreement concerning reserve-related claims. This settlement agreement provides relief in the amount of US$352.6 million to qualifying non-U.S.-shareholders who bought Shell shares on any stock exchange outside the United States between April 8, 1999 and March 18, 2004 (the European settlement).
The European settlement was originally reached and announced in April 2007. The parties opted to wait to file an amended petition until a U.S.-court ruled on Shell's position that the Court did not have jurisdiction to consider the claims of non-U.S. shareholders in the pending U.S. class action based upon the same reserves issues.
Theo Raaijmakers, chairman of the Foundation's Board: "In the past months the support for the European settlement has continued to increase. After the non-U.S. investors of Shell were excluded from the U.S. case, the parties to the European settlement finalized an amended petition so that additional details respecting the settlement could be provided to the Dutch court. Now that the Court has set a date for the hearing, the parties will provide notice of the settlement and of the hearing to non-U.S. investors."
On March 6, 2008 Shell announced the settlement in principle of reserve-related claims with U.S. investors providing, among other relief, a base settlement amount of US$82.85 million to resolve the securities class action pending in the U.S., from which the non-U.S. shareholders were excluded in January. The parties in the U.S. class action have not yet finalized this U.S. settlement, nor sought court approval. After finalization and court approval, the U.S. settlement would have an effect on the European settlement. The U.S. class and the participants in the European settlement collectively would receive an additional payment of US$35 million, to be divided in accordance with proportions determined in the two proposed settlements. In addition, Shell has agreed to pay interest on the European settlement amount effective April 1, 2008.
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