May 12, 2017

A D.C. federal court on Thursday granted preliminary approval to Harman International Industries Inc.’s $28.25 million settlement that would resolve a decade long shareholder suit alleging the automotive technology company inflated its stock price ahead of an ultimately failed private equity merger.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras gave an initial green light to the all-cash deal, which would end longstanding investor claims that Harman had misrepresented the sales of certain products in the run-up to a planned, $8 billion acquisition by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP and a Goldman Sachs & Co. affiliate. 

Steven J. Toll, an attorney at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and counsel to lead plaintiff Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System (APERS), told Law360 on Friday that it’s gratifying to see this deal move forward, especially after the case was initially dismissed in district court and then brought back to life by the D.C. Circuit in 2015.

“It’s a very positive end to a long, tough litigation,” Toll said.

The investors are represented by Steven J. Toll, Daniel S. Sommers, S. Douglas Bunch, Times Wang and Elizabeth Aniskevich of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

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