News Column

Investors Bancorp says deal on suit near

July 30, 2014

By Hugh R. Morley, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)



July 30--The holding company of Short Hills-based Investors Bank says it is close to securing an agreement to settle a shareholder suit filed over its 2011 merger of Brooklyn Federal Bancorp Inc. and is awaiting court approval of the deal.

The holding company, Investors Bancorp Inc., alerted shareholders of the agreement Tuesday and said a court hearing will be held Oct. 23 at the New York Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

The deal, which was largely struck in March 2013 but has yet to be approved by the court, would give shareholders an additional 7 cents for each share above the amount they previously received. The deal gave Brooklyn Bancorp. shareholders 80 cents a share, for a total of $10.3 million.

Shareholders have until Sept. 23 to express any concerns or objections to the agreement.

Bob Rinklin, a spokesman for Investors Bank, which has branches in Clifton, Montclair, Lyndhurst and Fort Lee, said it would not comment on the deal.

The agreement would settle a suit filed by Florida resident Joseph Underwood, a Brooklyn Federal Bancorp stockholder, claiming that he and other shareholders didn't receive enough compensation in the merger agreement.

The suit claimed the deal gave shareholders "grossly inadequate consideration" in what it claimed was a "flawed process" in which the defendants who included the two banks and several top executives of Brooklyn Federal Bancorp breached their fiduciary duties.

Rather than getting a "premium" for their shares, Brooklyn Bancorp shareholders received a 6 percent discount on the bank's closing price of 85 cents on the last trading day before the transaction was announced, according to the suit.

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Source: Record (Hackensack, NJ)


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