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A seven-year old lawsuit alleging billionaire John Malone was illegally compensated through a side deal in Charter’s 2015 acquisition of Time Warner Cable has settled for $87.5 million.
A proposed deal filed on Friday in a Delaware court notes that the money will be paid to Charter. Malone and other defendants named in the suit made no admission of wrongdoing.
In 2015, a Charter investor sued Malone and other directors on the company’s board alleging impropriety in its $78.7 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. According to the complaint, Malone’s Liberty Broadband forced the deal to be structured in a way favorable for his company and detrimental to Charter.
At the time, Liberty Broadband was Charter’s largest shareholder, with a 26 percent stake. The deal provided Malone an all-stock consideration in shares Liberty held in Time Warner Cable. Other investors got a mix of stock and cash.
The suit also alleged breach of fiduciary in connection with an additional transaction giving Liberty Broadband a 6 percent voting proxy.
While lawyers representing the investor claim they had a strong case, they say that the deal is “fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of Charter and its public stockholders” because of the “uncertain outcome and significant risks of continued litigation,” among other factors.
The defendants say they settled to “avoid the burden, expense, disruption, and distraction of further litigation.” It continues to deny the allegations in the complaint.
In May, a judge set the case for trial after the suit survived summary judgment.
Charter and Joel Fleming, a lawyer representing the plaintiff, declined to comment.
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