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Jan 11, 2012

Breakingviews-UniCredit’s backers have crumbs of comfort

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – UniCredit’s
(CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) underwriters must need a stiff drink. The Italian
bank’s 7.5 billion euro rights issue has prompted a sharp
sell-off that has left its shares hovering dangerously close to
the 1.94 euro subscription price. A further slump could stuff
the 26 other banks that have guaranteed the offering with large
quantities of unwanted shares. That would be embarrassing, but
need not be a disaster.

Jan 10, 2012

Exclusive: The troubled history of PIP’s implants man in America

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – When the French firm at the center of a breast implant scandal sought to expand its U.S. business a decade ago, it turned to Donald McGhan, a pioneer in the implant industry with a history of legal troubles.

McGhan’s career traces back to the laboratory at Dow Corning where the first breast implants were made in the early 1960s. By the time he partnered with France’s Jean-Claude Mas, founder of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), in 1999, he had been sued by shareholders who accused him of stealing money, was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for false accounting and had been replaced from his position as chief executive at one of the world’s leading implant makers.

Dec 23, 2011

Fox wins stay of LA Dodgers media rights sale

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Fox Sports won a round in the battle over telecast rights to Los Angeles Dodgers games starting in 2014 when a federal judge on Friday granted the News Corp company’s request to temporarily halt sale of the rights.

The media rights sale process, which is expected to be worth billions of dollars and is central to the bankrupt team’s search for new ownership, had been approved by a bankruptcy court, but Friday’s order by Delaware District Court judge Leonard Stark stayed that ruling until January 12.

Dec 19, 2011

Attorneys in Southern Copper case nab $285 million fee

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The plaintiffs’ attorneys in a shareholder lawsuit involving Southern Copper Corp won a blockbuster $285 million fee award from Delaware’s Chancery Court on Monday.

It is believed to be the biggest fee award ever by the court, one of the busiest venues in the United States for commercial litigation.

Dec 15, 2011

U.S. settlement reached in Chinese drywall case

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Owners of thousands of U.S. homes tainted with foul-smelling Chinese drywall agreed to a legal settlement worth up to $1 billion on Thursday, according to an attorney for the homeowners.

The settlement is to be paid by German manufacturer Knauf International, whose Chinese subsidiary made the tainted product that has been blamed for producing a stench and fumes that damage air conditioning, wiring and fixtures. The pact requires court approval.

Dec 14, 2011

Judge approves settlement over “icky” J Crew buyout

, Dec 14 (Reuters) – A judge
approved a shareholder class action settlement over the
controversial buyout of J Crew Group Inc on Wednesday, and
blasted the retailer’s sale process as “icky.”

The settlement caps a buyout in which J Crew Chief
Executive, Millard Drexler negotiated the $3 billion sale before
telling his board. Shareholders approved the deal narrowly, in a
cliff-hanger vote.

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.

    • About George

      "George Hay coordinates European financial coverage and writes about macroeconomics, the euro zone and UK/European financial policy. He covered European banks for Breakingviews during the financial crisis, and has also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and at United Business Media. He attended Edinburgh University and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay"
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