Tribune Reaches Settlement Deal Over Alleged ERISA Violations
August 22, 2011 at 3:46 AM (PT)
The TRIBUNE COMPANY has reached a settlement agreement with a group of former employees over claims alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in connection with the company's Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). TRIBUNE is paying $32 million, funded by insurers ($26.4 million), TRIBUNE ($4.45 million), and GREATBANC TRUST ($1 million), to settle the claims.
A 2008 suit against ESOP Trustee GREATBANC, additional claims by the Department of Labor, and the DOL and GREATBANC's objections to TRIBUNE's proposed plan of reorganization are being settled under the agreement, under which TRIBUNE is not admitting any wrongdoing or liability and is not being found at fault. The agreement must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of DELAWARE and by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of ILLINOIS.
"We are pleased to resolve the Department of Labor's objections to the pending plans of reorganization for TRIBUNE as part of GREATBANC's settlement of the litigation," said DON LIEBENTRITT, TRIBUNE chief restructuring officer. "This is a good result for all parties and ensures a smoother exit from bankruptcy once we have a confirmed plan."