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Leggett & Platt Reaches Tentative Settlement Of Antitrust Claims

Stocks in this article: LEG

CARTHAGE, Mo., Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Tentative agreement reached to settle U.S. polyurethane foam direct purchaser class portion of antitrust cases for $39.8 million (pre-tax)
  • 3Q EPS impact expected to be approximately $.18 per share
  • The company denies all allegations, but has settled to avoid the uncertainty, expense and distraction of litigation
  • Apart from this charge, Leggett reiterated its 2014 EPS guidance issued in July

Leggett & Platt expects to record a $39.8 million (pre-tax), or approximate $.18 per share, third quarter accrual for the settlement of the U.S. direct purchaser class portion of the polyurethane foam antitrust claims filed against the company and numerous other defendants. This claim is partially related to the former Prime Foam Products business, which was sold in the first quarter of 2007. Accordingly, approximately one-quarter of the charge is expected to be reflected in discontinued operations. Apart from this charge, the company reiterated the underlying full year EPS guidance issued in July.

As previously disclosed, Leggett & Platt, along with many other companies, is a defendant in a series of civil antitrust lawsuits involving the sale of polyurethane foam.  The company continues to deny all allegations in all of the cases, but has reached a tentative settlement in the U.S. direct purchaser class cases to avoid the uncertainty, expense and distraction of litigation.  The company has agreed to pay a total amount of $39.8 million, including plaintiff attorneys' fees and costs.  The settlement is subject to Court approval.

Leggett remains a defendant in other previously disclosed antitrust cases involving the sale of polyurethane foam.  Because of the complexity involved in the remaining cases, we are unable to reasonably determine the probable outcome or the amount of loss, or range of loss associated with these cases.  However, we believe the remaining cases collectively represent lower total sales of polyurethane foam from Leggett & Platt than the cases included in this settlement.

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