Broadcom to Settle Backdating Suit for $160M

December 30, 2009 ( - Broadcom Corp. said Tuesday it will pay more than $160 million to settle a class action investor lawsuit related to stock option backdating.

Broadcom said in its statement that it “steadfastly maintained” the claims weren’t true, but that settling the civil case will allow the chipmaker to move forward, according to the Associated Press. The chipmaker said it would take the settlement, which still needs a judge’s approval, as a one-time charge in the fourth quarter. 

The suit was filed by investors who bought or acquired shares of the company’s common stock between July 21, 2005, and July 13, 2006, and includes several million shareholders, the news report said. 

Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed criminal charges against Chief Financial Officer Bill Ruehle and co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III and vacated co-founder Henry Samueli’s guilty plea to a single count of lying to Securities and Exchange Commission investigators (see Broadcom Options Backdating Defendants Cleared by Judge). The judge also dismissed an SEC civil action against Nicholas, Samueli, Ruehle and another former executive. 

Also earlier this month, another federal judge granted final approval to a $118-million partial settlement in a separate shareholder case (see Broadcom Settlement Second Largest in Backdating Suits). Ruehle, Nicholas and Samueli remain as defendants in that case.