Mpls Law Firm Secures $121M Settlement From Goldman, Bain

Mpls Law Firm Secures $121M Settlement From Goldman, Bain

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi struck a preliminary settlement deal with two major private equity firms, and it plans to face off with more of the nation’s largest firms in court.

A Minneapolis-based law firm recently helped its clients reach a $121 million settlement deal with The Goldman Sachs Group and Bain Capital Partners.

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. said that Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $67 million and Bain agreed to pay $54 million to settle allegations that they and other large private equity firms participated in a bid-rigging conspiracy.

The firms were accused of colluding not to bid against each other on takeover deals, a move that may have driven down the prices that were paid during leveraged buyouts of various public companies between 2003 and 2007. Former shareholders of companies that were acquired in those deals sued the private equity firms several years ago. Their lawsuit described an “overarching conspiracy” among firms to refrain from “jumping” (or outbidding) each other’s announced deals.

The preliminary settlement agreement requires court approval, and neither Bain nor Goldman Sachs admitted any wrongdoing.

“We went toe-to-toe with the defendants over the past seven years, and Bain and Goldman Sachs are the first defendants to agree to settlement terms,” K. Craig Wildfang, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs and co-chair of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi’s antitrust and trade regulation practice, said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs and Bain are just two of seven defendants in the case. The other defendants are The Blackstone Group L.P., The Carlyle Group LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., L.P., Silver Lake Technology Management L.L.C., and TPG Capital L.P.

“We look forward to a trial against the remaining defendants, currently scheduled for November,” Wildfang said.

A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman told Reuters that the bank is pleased to settle, and a Bain spokesman said it was best to “put this matter behind us in light of the costs and distraction of six years of litigation.”

Two other law firms—Scott and Scott and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd—also acted as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case against the private equity firms.

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi was involved in another high-profile national case in recent years. In 2012, the firm announced that it reached a historic $7.25 billion settlement in a years-long case, in which millions of individuals and businesses filed a class action lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard, and numerous banks. Wildfang also led the class plaintiffs in that case.