KKR’s Gardner Denver to pay $29 mln to ex-shareholders

  • Pump maker went private in 2013 in $3.7 bln deal
  • Former CEO had been hired by buyout shop
  • Settlement reached after two days of mediation

The settlement, reached after two days of mediation in Chicago in June, was filed on June 27 in a Delaware court and must still be approved by a judge, sister news service Reuters reported.

Shareholders sued Gardner Denver, its board and KKR, saying the sale price was too low. The shareholders accused KKR of tainting the sale process by hiring Gardner Denver’s former chief executive officer, Barry Pennypacker, shortly after he resigned in July 2012. KKR, the shareholders alleged, “improperly obtained confidential information from Pennypacker” that informed KKR’s bid.

Lawsuits typically follow merger and acquisitions, but most of them are dismissed or settled for no additional money.

A spokeswoman for KKR said the firm does not comment on litigation. Randall Baron, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in an email the settlement was “a very good result for shareholders in what would have been a very challenging case.”

Richard Leong and Andrew Longstreth are correspondents for Reuters in New York.