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The Guardian Online: Shell says settles U.S. reserves class action

Reuters, Thursday March 6 2008

AMSTERDAM, March 6 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc. said on Thursday it had agreed in principle to settle a class action with U.S. investors arising from its 2004 restatement of oil reserves.

Under the terms of the deal the group of U.S. claimants, who bought shares in the company in a period before the 2004 reserves restatement, would receive a base settlement of $79.9 million plus $2.95 million and interest.

The deal is subject to the approval of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The proposed settlement complements a previously announced deal with non-U.S. investors under consideration by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals, Shell said. Approval of both settlements would put an end to all pending litigation arising out of the 2004 restatement.

Shell shocked investors in January 2004 by slashing its proven reserves of oil and gas. The revelation that the firm had been exaggerating the size of its reserves for years sent its stock tumbling and led to the ouster of its top executives.

The overbooking was blamed in part on the company’s complicated management and ownership structure at the time.

An additional payment of $35 million would also be made collectively to participants in the U.S. class action and the Dutch settlement, Shell said.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7363193

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