On March 16, 2007, the Final Fairness Hearing was held before U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew. The Court entered the Final Judgment and Order granting the motion to approve the settlement and granting the motion for attorney fees. The class action settlement was approved and the case is dismissed with prejudice.
On November 15, 2006, a Settlement Agreement was filed. The pending settlement is in the amount of $5.5 million in cash. That day, a Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement was also filed.
On July 10, 2006, the plaintiff filed a motion to certify class, which was terminated in the Order entered on September 14, 2006. The plaintiffs were directed to filed another motion to certify the class and for preliminary approval of the settlement by November 13, 2006.
In July 2005, the defendants filed various motions to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint. On March 6, 2006, the Court entered the Order signed by U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew granting PricewaterhouseCoopers' Motion to dismiss, granting the Underwriter Defendants' Motion to dismiss, granting in part and denying in part the Cerberus Defendants' Motion to dismiss and granting in part and denying in part the Anchor Defendants' Motion to dismiss. On May 16, 2006, a Consolidated Second Amended Class Action Complaint was filed against the remaining defendants. On June 15, 2006, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Second Amended Class Action Complaint.
As disclosed by the Company’s FORM 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2005, on April 20, 2005, a consolidated amended class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa. The consolidated amended complaint was filed to amend the complaint filed by Davidco Investors, LLC previously disclosed in the Company’s Form 8-K dated December 10, 2004. Four securities class action lawsuits brought against the Company have now been merged into this case. The lawsuit seeks to have the court determine recognition of a class action brought on behalf of all persons who purchased the Company’s securities between September 25, 2003 and November 4, 2004 and alleges violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The original complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. After twice emerging from bankruptcy, Anchor (a glass bottle maker) sold 7.5 million shares in an initial public offering ("IPO") on September 25, 2003.
The Complaint alleges that the statements issued by defendants during the Class Period were materially false and misleading because: (a) Anchor's production far exceeded demand and the Company had an excess of built-up inventory during the Class Period, resulting in the forced closure of the Connellsville facility; (b) Anchor had flooded the market with inventory during the Class Period which caused the Company to "curtail production selectively during the fourth quarter" to lower these inventory levels and align production with customer requirements; and c) one of the Company’s main production facilities, the Connellsville facility, was materially impaired during the Class Period resulting in a belated charge of at least $45 million.
The complaint further alleges that on November 5, 2004, in a complete reversal of its prior public stance, Anchor reported: (1) a net loss of $5.9 million for its third quarter, or $(0.24) per share; (2) that its Connellsville facility had permanently ceased operation; and (3) that production would be "curtailed" to help lower inventory levels in the fourth quarter of 2004. Anchor announced it would take a 4th quarter restructuring charge of $45 to $55 million for asset impairment and employee severance costs tied to the Connellsville exit. Anchor also announced that CEO Richard Deneau had retired and that the board had suspended quarterly common-stock dividend payments. Anchor's stock dropped from $7.94 to $5.80, or 27%, on unusually heavy trading volume.