According to the docket posted, on December 20, 2001, the Settlement Fairness hearing was held before U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber. On December 21, 2001, the Court entered the Consent Judgment by Judge Herman J. Weber. The settlement was approved, and the case was terminated.
By the Notice Of Pendency Of Class Action, a Settlement Fund consisting of Forty-Nine Million Dollars ($49,000,000.00) in cash, plus interest, has been established for the Class. A hearing will be held before the Honorable Herman J. Weber in the United States District Court, 805 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, 100 East Fifth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, at 9:00 a.m., on December 20, 2001 (the "Settlement Fairness Hearing") to determine whether the proposed Settlement of the above-captioned action, as set forth in the Stipulation of Settlement, dated as of October 29, 2001 (the "Stipulation"), is fair, reasonable and adequate and to consider the proposed Plan of Allocation for the Settlement proceeds and the application of Plaintiffs' counsel for attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses. The Court, by an Order entered on October 29, 2001, has certified, for the purposes of this Settlement, a Class consisting of: all persons who purchased the common stock of P&G between January 25, 2000 and June 7, 2000, inclusive.
As summarized in the Notice of Pendency, six similar class actions were consolidated pursuant to an Order of the Court under the caption In re Procter & Gamble Company Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. C-1-00-190. The First Amended and Consolidated Class Action Complaint alleges that Defendants disseminated documents and made public statements during the Class Period which contained materially false or misleading statements and failed to disclose material facts concerning P&G. The Plaintiffs assert that the market price for P&G common stock was artificially inflated as a result of these false and misleading statements and that the Class was damaged as a result. The Action asserts claims for violations of the federal securities laws. Defendants deny all such allegations. On August 7, 2000, Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. The Court held a hearing on October 20, 2000 and by Order dated May 8, 2001, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint. Although the Court made no findings of fact, it held that, if all allegations of the Complaint are assumed to be true and interpreted solely in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, then the Complaint states potential claims based only upon representations alleged to have been made by Defendants on February 15, 2000 and March 1, 2000, rather than during the larger period of January 25, 2000 through June 7, 2000. The Court dismissed all other claims relating to all other portions of the Class Period.
The original Complaint charges that Procter & Gamble and its officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements during the Class Period regarding the Company's financial and operating condition, as well as its future prospects which allegedly gave the impression that the Company was experiencing successful financial growth in line with an ambitious restructuring plan. Instead, the Company was allegedly experiencing less than stellar growth due to high raw material prices, high product launch costs in Europe, delay in the approval of the drug Actonel, strong North American competition in food and beverages, and increased price competition in the Latin American laundry detergent segment, all of which was not disclosed to the public. On March 7, 2000, Procter & Gamble stunned the market when it announced that its third quarter earnings per share were 10 to 11 percent below those of a year ago, rather than the 7 to 9 percent increase it had led the market to anticipate, and that the Company expected earnings per share growth for the fiscal year to be 7 percent, compared to the 13 percent originally anticipated. The market reaction to the news was both swift and disastrous; the price of Procter & Gamble's common stock plunged approximately 31%.