Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) has reached an agreement with Petrobras’s auditor, PwC Brazil, to settle claims brought against it as part of a class securities action. The settlement with PwC Brazil (PricewaterhouseCoopers Auditores Independentes) is valued at $50m.
The agreement follows the announcement made last month regarding the partial settlement of the securities class action brought by USS against Petrobras (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras) and its related entity, Petrobras International Finance Company, as well as certain of Petrobras’s former executives and directors in the Southern District of New York.
With this additional settlement, the overall settlement achieved with Petrobras and PwC for the benefit of the class as a whole is valued at $3 billion. This overall settlement, which is subject to approval by the court, represents the largest securities class action settlement in a decade. It is also the largest settlement ever in a class action involving a non-US issuer and is the fifth largest class action settlement ever achieved in the United States.
The settlement reflects a substantial amount of hard work on behalf of USS, North Carolina Department of State Treasurer (N. Carolina), Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii (Hawaii) and Pomerantz LLP since the case was brought to the Southern District court of New York three years ago. USS, as well as N. Carolina and Hawaii, remain committed to seeing the settlement agreement approved by the court in due course in order to ensure the best result for the class.
Jeremy Hill, Group General Counsel at USS, said:
“Further to the announcement made last month, we continue to lead this securities class action diligently and intensively, and we welcome this important additional step in the litigation process for the class. We are pleased with the settlement agreement which has been reached with PwC Brazil, which we believe is in the best interests of the class and concludes an important stage in the action."