JPMorgan settles at US$23m
JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay US$23 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with pension funds that accused the bank of breaching its fiduciary duty by investing their money in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc notes. JPMorgan and the lead plaintiff, the Board of Trustees of the Operating Engineers Pension Trust, filed a proposed settlement agreement on Friday in federal court in Manhattan. The settlement pertains to all plans and entities governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for which JPMorgan invested cash collateral in two floating rate notes issued by Lehman Brothers and continued to hold those securities until Sept. 15, 2008, when Lehman Brothers sought bankruptcy, according to the filing.
Dell judge denies Icahn
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn failed to persuade a Delaware judge to speed up proceedings in a lawsuit against computer maker Dell Inc. Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine Jr on Friday denied the request by Icahn, who is trying to thwart a buyout by founder Michael Dell, at a hearing in Wilmington. Dell shareholders of record Aug. 13 are scheduled to vote on the US$24.9 billion buyout at a special meeting on Sept. 12 and to choose directors at an annual meeting on Oct. 17. Strine agreed with lawyers for the company who contended Icahn’s affiliates have had ample time to evaluate the fairness of the buyout and could have made a bid.
US Steel installs new CEO
United States Steel Corp says one of its top executives will take over as its new CEO in next month as long-time leader John Surma transitions into retirement. The steel company said on Friday that it has elected Mario Longhi as its next chief executive. Longhi already serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer. Surma, 59, will stay on as an executive chairman through the end of the year and then he will retire from the company and board. He has been president of the company since March 2003, CEO since 2004 and chairman since February 2006. Longhi, also 59, joined US Steel as its COO in July last year and was named president of the company in June. He was CEO of Gerdau Ameristeel for five years and worked at Alcoa for 23 years in a variety of positions. US Steel also said David Burritt, 58, will become its next chief financial officer.
H&M expands to Ethiopia
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) said on Friday it would expand its network of suppliers to Ethiopia, after concentrating 80 percent of its production in Asian countries. “We are an expansive company and are constantly looking at new potential purchasing markets to guarantee that we have capacity to deliver products to all stores in our expansive markets,” H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk said. “We do that by increasing the productivity on the existing production markets as well as looking at new markets,” she added. Test orders have been placed with Ethiopian suppliers and new factories will be built this autumn, but it is too early to say how many suppliers will be used and when the factories will be ready for production, according to Emilsson-Falk. The East African country has had a long history in textile, leather and shoe production since its Italian occupation in 1939.