Proposed Settlement with Ernst & Young
The Plaintiffs have entered into a proposed settlement with Ernst & Young (the "Settlement Agreement"). If the settlement is approved, it will be final and binding and there will be no ability to pursue a claim (if any) against Ernst & Young through an opt-out process under class proceedings or similar legislation. The proposed settlement would settle, extinguish and bar all claims, globally, against Ernst & Young in relation to Sino-Forest including the allegations in the Proceedings. Ernst & Young does not admit to any wrongdoing or liability. The terms of the proposed settlement do not involve the resolution of any claims against Sino-Forest or any of the other defendants. For an update on CCAA orders affecting Sino-Forest, please see the CCAA Monitor's website: http://cfcanada.fticonsulting.com/sfc/. A complete copy of the Settlement Agreement and other information about these proceedings is available at: www.kmlaw.ca/sinoforestclassaction and www.classaction.ca (the "Class Action Websites").
The proposed settlement, if approved and its conditions fulfilled, provides that Ernst & Young will pay CAD$117,000,000.00 to a Settlement Trust to be administered in accordance with orders of the court. It is the intention of Class Counsel to seek the court's approval of a plan of allocation that distributes the settlement funds, net of counsel fees and other administrative costs and expenses, to members of the E&Y Settlement Class.
In return, the action will be dismissed against Ernst & Young, and there will be an order forever barring claims against it in relation to Sino-Forest including any allegations relating to the Proceedings, including claims (if any) that could be advanced through an opt-out process under class proceedings or similar legislation. In considering whether or how they are affected by the proposed settlement, members of the E&Y Settlement Class and anyone else with claims against Ernst & Young in relation to Sino-Forest should consider the effect of the orders made and steps taken in the Sino-Forest CCAA Proceedings. More information on the Sino-Forest CCAA Proceedings can be found on the Monitor's Website.
The settlement agreement with Ernst & Young is subject to court approval, as discussed below.
Hearings to Approve Settlement on February 4, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario and Subsequent Hearings in Ontario, Quebec and the United States.
On February 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time), there will be a settlement approval hearing before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The hearing will be heard at the Canada Life Building, 330 University Avenue, 8th Floor, Toronto, Ontario. The exact courtroom number will be available on a notice board on the 8th Floor.
If the settlement approval motion which is being heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on February 4, 2013 (the "Settlement Approval Motion") is granted, then there will be a further hearing at a later date before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the "Ontario Allocation/Fee Motion") at which Class Counsel will seek that Court's approval of (1) the plan for allocating the net Ernst & Young settlement fund among the members of the E&Y Settlement Class; and (2) the fees and expense reimbursement requests of Class Counsel.
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