LIMITED SETTLEMENT: Limited Brands and its chief executive officer Leslie Wexner settled in February a 1999 shareholder lawsuit alleging that the rescission of a contingent stock redemption agreement “constituted a waste of corporate assets and a breach of the board members’ fiduciary duties,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Under terms of the settlement, Wexner and the company agreed to pay up to $10 million of the plaintiffs’ expenses, with the ceo to contribute half of the amount necessary, in cash; the forfeiture of stock options or other consideration, or as much as is necessary to limit the firm’s contribution to $3 million. Additionally, Wexner, his immediate family members and affiliated entities have agreed not to sell any Limited shares during a buyback program that ended March 26, and until September. The settlement is subject to several conditions, including approval by the Delaware Court of Chancery, where the suit was filed. As of Feb. 27, Wexner beneficially owned more than 61.2 million shares of the firm’s common stock, or 11.7 percent of those outstanding. The issue closed up 13 cents to $20.14 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday.
KMART’S CLASS: A federal district court judge in Detroit granted class-action status Friday to a lawsuit seeking to recoup the losses of Kmart employees who held shares of the retailer in their 401(k) retirement plans when it went bankrupt in Jan. 2002, according to published reports. The class is expected to be made up of more than 50,000 employees who collectively lost over $100 million in their retirement plans. Defendants in the lawsuit reportedly include former chief executive officer Charles Conaway and the current ceo James Adamson.