Investors suing Royal Bank of Scotland over a rights offering in 2008 accepted the lender's 82 pence per share settlement offer in a move that's likely to allow former chief executive Fred Goodwin to avoid a potentially embarrassing court appearance.
RBS doubled its offer to investors as CEO Ross McEwan staged an 11th-hour personal intervention last weekend, a person with knowledge of the matter has said. The trial had been postponed until June 7 while the claimants and their lawyers locate investors they had lost contact with over the years.
“This is a significant sum and is effectively double the amount that was paid to the other settling claimant groups,” a spokesman for the RBoS Shareholders Action Group said in an emailed statement. “The viability of the case continuing to trial is now significantly in doubt.”
RBS declined to comment on the statement, which came on a UK public holiday.
The claimants argued in their lawsuit that the bank deliberately concealed its financial weaknesses over its £12 billion emergency rights offering in 2008. The bank countered that no cover-up took place, the rights issue prospectus included all the information investors needed, and the claimants are overlooking how volatile markets were in 2008.