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CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness Appeals Bad Settlement Deal in Walgreen-Boots Merger

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The Center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute appealed a settlement deal that granted $370,000 in fees to plaintiffs’ lawyers and gave the shareholder class members nothing but insignificant supplemental disclosures related to last year’s merger between Walgreen and Boots pharmacies (Hays v. Walgreen). In the class action lawsuit challenging the merger, plaintiffs alleged that Walgreens omitted certain disclosures and kept shareholders in the dark, prior to the December 2014 merger vote. On November 20, 2015, the settlement was approved in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, despite CEI’s objection. Today CEI appeals to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the settlement.

“Walgreen shareholders should not have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for information on the merger that was either already disclosed or completely insignificant,” said Melissa Holyoak, an attorney with the CEI. ““This settlement is an example of merger strike suits that are rampant—meritless suits are filed in over 97% of large mergers.”  

The objection filed by CCAF on behalf of shareholder John Berlau argued that the class not be certified, the case be dismissed, or, at least, reduce the class counsel’s fees to $1. The appeal argues for the settlement to be overturned.

See more information on this case, including today’s brief here.