The Settlement Fairness was held before Judge Deborah A. Batts on May 7, 2008. The settlement, in the amount of $8,000,000, was approved as fair, reasonable and adequate. The judge also approved the Plan of Allocation and awarded attorneys' fees of 25% the settlement fund and expenses in an aggregate amount of $161,692.60.
According to an article dated August 24, 2007, a putative securities class action against Spanish energy giant Repsol YPF SA moved closer to resolution Thursday when the plaintiffs asked a judge to grant motions relating to a proposed $8 million settlement. The putative class, comprising Repsol shareholders during the period of Feb. 22, 2005 to Jan. 27, 2006, filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking preliminary approval of the settlement, conditional class certification, class notice guidelines and a date for a hearing on final approval.
On June 13, 2006, the Court entered the Order granting the motion to appoint Jack Reynolds, Charles A. Kubo and John L. Brooks, III as Lead Plaintiffs. The actions 06cv733 and 06cv1014 were consolidated on 5/25/06 by oral order. The law firms of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP and Schiffrin & Barroway LLP have been appointed lead counsel. On September 1, 2006, a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed.
The original complaint charges Repsol and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, specifically by issuing misrepresentations concerning Repsol's proven reserves. Reserves are estimates of oil and natural gas a company has and expects to pump, a crucial metric in gauging a company's growth prospect. Throughout the Class Period, defendants failed to disclose the following: (i) that Repsol was materially overstating its proven reserves. Repsol has now admitted that it will downgrade its proven reserves by 25% and take an asset impairment charge of approximately EUR 50 million; (ii) that Repsol was experiencing increasing political pressure in Bolivia which will have an adverse effect on the Company's operations; (iii) that the Company was experiencing difficulties in its production of gas in Bolivia; and (iv) that contracts with Repsol's existing customers would likely not be extended due to complications in extracting gas from certain fields in Argentina.
The complaint further alleges that on or around January 26, 2006, the Company filed its Form 6-K with the SEC in which it announced that it was cutting its oil and gas reserves estimate by 25% due mostly to problems that it had experienced in Bolivia and Argentina. On this news, on January 26, 2006, Repsol ADRs closed at $27.99, a decline of $2.12 per ADR, or over 7%. On January 27, 2006, Respol ADRs continued to decline, falling another $1.34 per ADR, or approximately 5%.