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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Private equity firms pay $325 million in U.S. collusion settlement, (NYSE: BX)

Three of the world's largest takeover firms have agreed to pay $325 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit accusing them of colluding with rivals to keep prices down on corporate takeovers prior to the financial crisis by agreeing not to outbid each other.The payment by Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co LP and TPG Capital LP will benefit shareholders of some merger targets during a buyout boom that predated the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement was disclosed in a Thursday court filing.Six defendants in the nearly seven-year-old lawsuit have now agreed to pay a combined $475.5 million in various settlements, without admitting wrongdoing.U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston will consider preliminary approval of the accords at a Sept. 4 hearing. Oral arguments on class certification of the lawsuit are also scheduled for the same date. The settlements will not be valid if class certification is not granted.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (Blackstone) is a manager of private capital and provider of financial advisory services. Shares of BX traded higher by 0.03% or $0.01/share to $32.63. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $21.30 and as high as $36.08. On average, 4784270 shares of BX exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 5536898.