Jeld-Wen Holdings Inc. shareholders reached a $13.5 million settlement with members of the company’s board of directors and upper management to end a case involving alleged insider trading and antitrust violations. The plaintiffs, the Board of Trustees of the City of Miami General Employees’ & Sanitation Employees’ Retirement Trust, Shieta Black, and Jason Aldridge, submitted a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement on Sept. 8, 2022. Plaintiffs also submitted a supporting brief and declaration from lead counsel Mark Lebovitch of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP.

According to court documents, the Plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment claims brought on behalf of Jeld-Wen Holdings Inc. (the Company) stem from “sustained anticompetitive conduct resulting in significant financial and business consequences to Jeld-Wen. In the action, plaintiffs alleged that defendants failed to prevent the Company from engaging (and allowed it to engage) in sustained and systematic business strategies involving the challenged anticompetitive conduct, engaged in inside trading based on information provided to fiduciaries in their roles as directors, officers and controllers, and made public misstatements and omissions concerning the underlying antitrust misconduct.”

On June 20, 2022, the parties reached an agreement in principle to settle the action. Court documents note that “under the terms of the settlement, defendants shall pay or cause to be paid an aggregate amount of $13.5 million in cash into an escrow account within 20 days after entry by the court of an order preliminarily approving the settlement … After deducting or reserving funds necessary to pay any Court-awarded attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses and applicable taxes, the Net Settlement Fund will be released to the Company …”

The documents continue, “Pursuant to the stipulation, plaintiffs now seek an order from the Court: preliminarily approving the terms and conditions of the settlement as set forth in the stipulation; directing that notice be provided to Jeld-Wen stockholders; and scheduling a Settlement Fairness Hearing to consider whether the settlement and the requested attorneys’ fees and expenses should be fully approved.”

According to the documents, plaintiffs say without the settlement, the case “could continue for years, as resources and insurance proceeds continue to be depleted by other litigation.”

Plaintiffs requested that the court grant the motion in its entirety and enter the parties’ proposed Preliminary Approval Order.

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