Apple has agreed to settle a securities class-action lawsuit related to alleged stock-option backdating for US$16.5 million, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System said Wednesday — as reported by “MarketWatch” (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-settles-backdating-suit-with-nycers-2010-10-06-1820290).
NYCERS initially filed suit as lead plaintiff against Apple almost four years ago, alleging that the consumer-electronics maker improperly backdated stock options for employees between 2001 and 2006. In a statement Wednesday, New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said the settlement with Apple includes $14 million to be distributed to shareholders, “along with the establishment of key corporate-governance reforms at the company.”
For example, Apple has agreed to take a closer look at so-called clawback provisions for executive-compensation grants, and to amend its insider-trading policy to “provide enhanced compliance requirements,” Cardozo said.
“MarketWatch” says Apple also has agreed to contribute $2.5 million to corporate-governance programs at schools including Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School. An additional $4 million in attorneys’ fees will be paid separately by Apple, according to Cardozo.