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Press release - pension fund abp settles with merck in securities class action
Pension Fund ABP Settles with Merck in Securities Class Action
Five-year litigation related to Vytorin ENHANCE study ends in $215 million class settlement
Heerlen/Amsterdam, 14 February 2013 - The Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP
(“ABP”), together with three co-lead plaintiffs, has reached a settlement with Merck and certain of its
current and former officers and directors, whereby Merck will pay $215 million to resolve a five-year-
old securities class action against all of the Merck defendants. This settlement is part of a $ 688 mln
total settlement that Merck agreed to with plaintiffs in two class actions that were combined for trial:
Merck & Co., Inc. Vytorin/Zetia Securities Litigation; and Schering-Plough Corporation/Enhance
The Merck Vytorin class action, filed in 2008, is pending before Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh in U.S. District
Court for the District of New Jersey. The settlement comes three weeks before a scheduled trial date of
March 4. ABP, International Fund Management SA (part of the Deka Bank Group), the Jacksonville Police
and Fire Retirement System, and the General Retirement System of the City of Detroit are the four
institutional investor lead plaintiffs in the class action. The Merck Vytorin class action settlement covers all
investors who purchased Merck stock or options between December 6, 2006 and March 28, 2008.
ABP’s settlement stems from claims that Merck delayed disclosing for two years results of a clinical trial
called ENHANCE - which indicated that Merck’s anti-cholesterol drug Vytorin had no statistical advantage in
treating atherosclerosis when compared to a generic statin drug, simvastatin. Merck investors alleged that
the delay caused a substantial drop in the value of their shares when results of the study were published in
Merck has denied and continues to deny these claims, contending that the company and its officers acted responsibly in connection with the ENHANCE study. The settlement is subject to approval by Judge Cavanaugh.
“As important as recovery of our losses, we have taken up this case to underline our views on good
corporate governance. This outcome should serve as a reminder that material information should be shared
with the market as soon as it becomes available,” stated Henk Brouwer, chairman of ABP. “Nonetheless, the
$215 million represents a significant class recovery - one of the largest achieved in a case alleging fraud
without a government finding of wrongdoing against the company.”
ABP was represented by U.S. securities and corporate governance law firm Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., which
has successfully represented the fund in numerous other shareholder cases.
- ENDS -
Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP - Foundation Pension Fund ABP) is the industry-wide pension fund for
employers and employees of government and educational institutions in the Netherlands. ABP has 2.8
million participants and an amount of 281 billion Euros in available assets (as at year-end 2012). This makes
ABP one of the top three pension funds in the world in terms of size.
Conservación y Desarrollo, Ecuador · Fundación Interamericana de Investigación Tropical, Guatemala · Fundación Natura, Colombia · ICADE, Honduras · IMAFLORA, Brazil · Nature Conservation Foundation, India · Pronatura Sur, Mexico · Rainforest Alliance · SalvaNatura, El Salvador Prohibited Pesticide List (November 2011) Copies of this document are available for free in electron
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