Software mogul Larry Ellison has agreed to pay $122m in a revised settlement with Oracle shareholders, the terms of which were approved on Tuesday by a California judge.
The suit, filed in 2001 by a group of shareholders, charged that Ellison, chief executive of Oracle, and Jeff Henley, the company’s chief financial officer at the time, sold shares while knowing the company would soon report an earnings shortfall.
Ellison offered in September to settle the case with $100m in charitable donations and without admitting wrongdoing. But a California judge declined to approve the proposed settlement because it called for Oracle to pay $24m in lawyers’ fees, saddling shareholders with extra costs.
The terms of the new, approved settlement leave the $100m payment to charities intact while requiring Ellison to pay $22m in legal fees.
Joseph Tabacco, the attorney who brought the case, said in a statement: “This provision makes an excellent settlement even better.”
The charity payments are an unusual way to settle such a case. Typically, settlement payments would go directly to the company, in this case Oracle. “But with Mr Ellison owning a quarter of Oracle’s stock, much of such a direct payment, in effect, would have gone to him,” Tabacco continued in a statement.