International Paper, Weyerhaeuser & Georgia-Pacific Settle Class Action
Press release from the issuing company
STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 23 -- International Paper today announced that it, along with Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, has agreed with plaintiffs to settle an antitrust class action filed in 1999 in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs, purchasers of corrugated sheets and containers from October 1993 through November 1995, alleged that these three companies, along with other integrated manufacturers, had conspired to increase prices.
Pursuant to this settlement, which must be approved by the court, the three companies will pay a total of $68 million to settle class members' claims. International Paper's share of the total settlement is approximately $24 million. International Paper's share of the settlement also includes Union Camp, which International Paper acquired in 1999. Union Camp had also been a co-defendant in the class action.
"We continue to dispute the validity of the plaintiffs' allegations. However, given the costs and risks of defending even a meritless class action, and absent necessary legal reforms, this settlement is in the best interest of the company," said Maura A. Smith, senior vice president and general counsel.
Prior to this settlement, certain plaintiffs opted out of the class litigation and have recently filed separate cases against the defendant companies. The company is reviewing those cases and will respond appropriately.
An addition to a legal reserve for this matter will be taken in the third quarter, resulting in an after-tax charge of approximately $0.02 per share.
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