Playboy Enterprises Inc. won a judge’s approval to pay $5.25 million to settle Delaware Chancery Court lawsuits challenging founder Hugh M. Hefner’s plan to take the company private.
Judge John Noble also awarded shareholders’ lawyers $1.42 million in fees and expenses at a hearing yesterday in Dover, according to court electronic records.
“The settlement is found to be fair, reasonable and adequate and in the best interests” of shareholders, Noble wrote in his approval order.
Investors sued in 2010, contending the $6.15 per-share deal for the outstanding shares was inadequate. The transaction was completed in March 2011. The settlement was announced last October.
Hefner backed a partnership’s acquisition of all the entertainment company’s stock he didn’t already own, according to court filings. Hefner and Playboy officials denied they harmed investors as part of the transaction.
Playboy expanded globally in the 1960s and 1970s when Hefner, now 86, ran the company. Playboy went public in 1971 and circulation of the magazine reached 7.2 million for one issue in 1972.
The case is In Re Playboy Enterprises Inc. Shareholders Litigation, CA5632-VCN, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).
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