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Brink's To Pay $10M To Settle Lawsuits In Belgium

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) â¿¿ Armored car company The Brink's Co. said Friday it has agreed to pay about $10 million to settle litigation that arose after it pulled out of the cash handling market in Belgium and stopped funding its subsidiary there.

Under the terms of a proposed settlement, the amount will be used to pay Brink's former employees in Belgium. In exchange, the plaintiffs will withdraw the lawsuit and agree not to take additional action against the company.

Brink's, based in Richmond, Va., said it left the cash handling market in Belgium in 2010 and stopped funding subsidiary Brink's Belgium after an unsuccessful effort to address a noncompetitive business structure.

The subsidiary subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection after a restructuring plan was rejected by local union employees.

In December, court-appointed provisional administrators of Brink's Belgium filed a claim for about $28.7 million against another subsidiary of Brink's.

The settlement terms call for Brink's former employees and the Belgian tax and social security authorities to release the company from liability. But the agreement hinges on those parties' consent, and they were not involved in the settlement negotiations.

Brink's expects the settlement is to be finalized during the third quarter.

The company expects to record a pretax charge of approximately $10 million if the settlement is finalized and does not expect to record a related tax benefit. It recorded a noncash charge of $13 million in the fourth quarter to reflect the drop in its subsidiary's value.

Brink's continues to operate in Belgium through its Global Services unit, which provides secure transport of diamonds, jewelry, precious metals, banknotes and other commodities.

Shares fell 23 cents to $27.64 by mid-afternoon Friday.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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