Monday, September 10, 2007

HCA settles shareholder suit

November 9, 2006

HCA has settled with a group of shareholders trying to block the planned sale of the company to a group of private investors. The settlement, which still must be approved by a judge, involves no direct cash payout, though HCA has agreed to pay the shareholders' attorney fees. HCA also agreed to slash termination fees, payable to the proposed buyers if the deal doesn't close, from $500 million to $220 million. In addition, the shareholders also won the right to appeal the sale price, currently set at $33 billion, or $51 dollars a share. If they're not happy with the deal, shareholders can file a new suit within 30 days after the deal closes. The suit would give them the right to have their shares appraised, and either fight on or accept the deal if the appraisal is lower than $51 per share. However, experts note that shareholders seldom file for appraisal after the deal closes. HCA shareholders will vote on the proposed sale next week.

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