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Dec 13, 2011

Lead plaintiff opposes settlement of J Crew lawsuit

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – A shareholder leading a class lawsuit over the J Crew Group Inc buyout has taken the unusual step of fighting his attorneys, accusing them of settling the case for a pittance, according to court documents.

J Crew investor Martin Vogel accused the attorneys representing him and other lead plaintiffs of conflicts of interest and rushing to settle, and asked Delaware’s Chancery Court to reject the settlement.

Dec 13, 2011

FDIC settles with former WaMu executives: sources

By Tom Hals and Dave Clarke

(Reuters) – Three former executives of Washington Mutual Inc have agreed to a payment of about $75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp over their role in the biggest bank failure in U.S. history, two sources familiar with the talks said on Tuesday.

The three — former Chief Executive Kerry Killinger, former Chief Operating Officer Stephen Rotella and the company’s former home lending chief, David Schneider — were sued by the government’s deposit insurer last March.

Dec 9, 2011

LA Dodgers can sell media rights in blow to Fox

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The judge overseeing the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy said he will allow the team to begin a multibillion-dollar sale of future rights to broadcast the bankrupt team’s games, dealing a blow to its current broadcaster, Fox Sports.

Fox Sports spent two days in Delaware’s bankruptcy court trying to prove that the Dodgers’ move could destroy their regional sports network in the country’s No. 2 media market, which Fox argued was worth $1 billion.

Dec 8, 2011

Fox, Dodgers clash in court spat over media rights

/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Prospective bidders are piling up for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Fox Sports argued on Wednesday that the bankrupt team’s owner Frank McCourt is improperly breaking its broadcasting contract in his effort to sell the team.

Terms of a November 2 agreement between the Dodgers and Major League Baseball were sketched out in a court filing on Tuesday, effectively starting the auction for the team and stadium.

Dec 6, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK banks need government to solve funding squeeze

By George Hay
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.The Bank of England is tooling itself up. The UK central bank announced on Dec. 6 a new facility to help domestic lenders if the euro zone crisis causes a fully-fledged freeze in short-term funding markets. But banks may still need more help.

The BoE already has two ways to combat liquidity squeezes. It allows banks to borrow against liquid collateral for three or six months through its Indexed Long-Term Repo (ILTR) auctions. And it allows desperate banks to swap illiquid collateral for gilts for up to a year via its Discount Window Facility (DWF) – in return for a fat fee and big haircuts.

Dec 5, 2011

American Airlines must find own Chapter 11 path

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – The lawyer who piloted United Airlines through the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in that industry’s history cautioned that American Airlines cannot just rely on the restructuring path cut by competitors.

“Every case is different, and they should beware of assuming that past cases are a road map. They should be aware of their own set of facts,” said James Sprayregen, a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in a telephone interview with Reuters on Sunday.

Dec 5, 2011
via Breakingviews

Monte dei Paschi’s independence looks shaky

By George Hay and Peter Thal Larsen
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressesed are their own.

Monte dei Paschi is in a real fix. To survive the euro zone meltdown, lenders need two things: sufficient capital, and a solid base of solvent shareholders that can put up more cash if needed. Italy’s third-largest bank has neither.

Dec 1, 2011

Del Monte’s $89 million shareholder settlement approved

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – A judge approved an $89.4 million settlement for shareholders of Del Monte, who claimed they were shortchanged in the food company’s $4 billion sale to private equity investors led by KKR and Co (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Delaware Chancery Court judge Travis Laster on Thursday overruled an objection by a Cleveland pipe fitters union pension fund, which had sought to opt out of the settlement to pursue a similar lawsuit in a California federal court.

Nov 28, 2011

DOJ probes Del Monte sale for antitrust violations

Nov 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice has
opened a probe into the $4 billion takeover of Del Monte Corp
by private equity investors led by KKR and Co ,
according to court papers regarding an investor settlement over
the transaction.

The department’s antitrust division “has been investigating
the facts and circumstances surrounding the sale of Del Monte,”
Stuart Grant, a lawyer for Del Monte shareholders, wrote in a
Nov. 23 court filing. He said he has provided documents to the
division and is cooperating with the investigation.

Nov 28, 2011
via Breakingviews

ECB funding aid needs to be wider, not just longer

By George Hay
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The European Central Bank is shaping up to slaughter some sacred cows. The rate-setter, which has already lent more than 500 billion euros to liquidity-starved banks for up to a year, is considering offering longer-term loans. Yet some observers, most notably UniCredit chief executive Federico Ghizzoni, also want it to loosen collateral rules.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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