(Source: By Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) – Class-action lawsuits challenging the sale of Marshall and Ilsley Corp. will net former MandI shareholders no money, but lawyers who represented them will get $695,000 in fees under a settlement approved in court Tuesday.
The settlement involves lawsuits filed, and later consolidated into a single case, after BMO Financial Group announced plans in late 2010 to buy Milwaukee’s MandI for $4.1 billion. MandI was the largest bank based in the state at the time.
Lawsuits argued that the amount BMO was paying wasn’t enough. But an attorney for the lead law firm representing plaintiffs in the case told a judge in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Tuesday that it turned out the price tag for MandI, which was suffering big losses from bad loans with no end in sight, wasn’t unreasonable.
Jeffrey D. Light, of the San Diego law firm Robbins, Geller, Rudman and Dowd, said that after consulting financial experts, the attorneys concluded “the merger price was within the range of reasonableness.” Attorneys then sought additional disclosures about the deal instead of financial compensation.
“We believe the settlement is the best possible result under the circumstances,” Light told Circuit Judge Jane Carroll.
While expressing concern that some MandI shareholders probably weren’t given enough time to weigh in on the proposed settlement, Carroll approved the agreement.
The settlement includes $695,000 in fees for lawyers who represented MandI shareholders in the case – money that will be paid by BMO.
Toronto-based BMO closed the transaction for MandI last July and currently is re-branding MandI as BMO Harris Bank.
©2012 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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