Parties In Tronox Securities Litigation Agree To Settle For $37 Million

According to papers filed in the Southern District of New York on August 3, 2012, the parties to the Tronox securities litigation have agreed to settle the case for a total of $37 million. As I noted at the time that this suit was first filed back in July 2009 (here), the case, which alleged that the defendants had misrepresented Tronox's environmental liabilities when the company was spun out of Kerr-McGee and thereafter, involved a host of recurring and interesting issues.

A copy of the parties' stipulation of settlement can be found here. The settlement agreement is subject to court approval.

As discussed in greater detail here, the action was filed on behalf of those who purchased certain securities of Tronox, Inc. between November 25, 2005 and January 12, 2009. The plaintiffs named as defendants certain former directors and officers of Tronox, as well as Kerr-McGee Corporation, Andarko Petroleum Corporation and certain Kerr-McGee executives.

As reflected in the their amended consolidated complaint (here), the plaintiffs alleged that Tronox's IPO was a "scheme orchestrated by Defendant Kerr-McGee to foist the vast majority of its enormous environmental remediation and related tort liabilities, accumulated over decades, onto Tronox, so that Kerr-McGee could thereafter present itself for sale." The plan, which allegedly involved spinning Tronox out as a separate company in an initial public offering, "reaped massive and almost immediate benefits when, on August 10, 2006, Defendant Anadarko acquired Kerr-McGee for $18 billion in cash and assumption of debt purportedly free and clear of any obligation for what had become, as of that date, Tronox's environmental remediation and tort liabilities."

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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.

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