Magazine article American Banker

Amalgamated Secures $139M Settlement with Murdoch's News Corp

Magazine article American Banker

Amalgamated Secures $139M Settlement with Murdoch's News Corp

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Cumming

A New York bank that manages assets for hundreds of pension plans has secured a $139 settlement from News Corporation in a suit it filed against the media giant on behalf of its clients.

Amalgamated Bank filed the suit, with co-lead plaintiffs Central Laborers Pension Fund and City of New Orleans Employees' Retirement System, in 2011. A settlement was reached on April 17 and announced Monday. It is the largest-ever settlement in this type of lawsuit, called a derivate suit, Amalgamated said.

The suit alleges that News Corp.'s board has allowed Chairman Rupert Murdoch to "siphon value away from News Corp. and its shareholders for the benefit of Murdoch, his family, and his friends" and has "condoned Murdoch's habitual use of News Corp to pursue his quest for power, control and political gain." It alleges that the board refused to investigate illegal activities, including phone hacking at News of the World, that have harmed the company's profitability.

Amalgamated, which is the largest union-owned bank in the country, manages the funds or is the custodian of over 650 pension plans, including many union plans. Amalgamated's LongView funds currently hold over 450,000 shares of News Corporation stock, worth more than $14 million.

Amalgamated regularly brings suits on behalf of its clients, said President and Chief Executive Ed Grebow.

"This is the kind of thing we think more banks should do, because [it] helps the industry's reputation," Grebow said. …

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