Hewlett-Packard settled a shareholder lawsuit that stemmed from a surprising decision by the company in 2011. In that year, then-CEO Leo Apotheker decided that the company would potentially get rid of their personal computer side of the business and focus more on business services. H-P also wanted to make a few business purchases, making it a turbulent time for the company.
Apotheker was ousted as CEO in 2011, and the shareholder lawsuit went forward. It was settled this week to the tune of $57 million. Though the deal still need to be approved by a judge, it seems likely that the settlement will be approved. H-P has been moving forward since the troubling 2011 year, as they have been undergoing a restructuring.
While this is a fairly straightforward story, it does highlight a couple of crucial points about business. First of all, shareholder disputes and shareholder rights are important aspects to the business world. Large companies that have many stockholders need to do everything in their power to ensure they are compliant with all of the rules that apply to those stockholders.
The other aspect of this story is that the litigation that businesses usually deal with is very complex. Lawsuits that deal with shareholders or trade secrets or breach of contract have many layers to them. These lawsuits often require many hours of complex negotiation, and even when the negotiation is complete, there can be hurdles to clear — such as a judge approving the deal. Businesses need experienced business lawyers to help them through such complicated times.
Source: FOX Business, “H-P Settles Shareholder Lawsuit for $57M,” Matthew Rocco, April 1, 2014