Australian wheat exporter AWB has agreed to pay shareholders almost $40 million in an out-of-court settlement in a case relating to kickbacks to the former Saddam Hussein regime, reports the Australian Associated Press. As previously discussed here, a rare trial in the case began last week.
The shareholders had argued the company should have disclosed payments of more than $290 million which it made between 1999 and 2003 to the Iraqi regime in contravention of UN sanctions. AWB admits the payments were made but denies that the information was market sensitive or that it needed to be disclosed to shareholders
The class action was originally filed for the sum of $100 million. If approved, the case will be dismissed without any admission of liability by AWB.