Tyson Foods followed Pilgrim’s Pride in agreeing to settle a class-action price collusion lawsuit in the courts for the past four years. Tyson Foods said it reached an “agreement in principle” to settle the civil suit, but the company provided no details about how much that will cost.
“Tyson believes the resolution is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, and the settlement does not constitute an admission of liability,” company spokesman Gary Mickelson told Talk Business & Politics on Tuesday (Jan. 12).
The Tyson settlement is subject to court approval and a joint notice of settlement was filed by the direct purchaser plaintiffs Monday as a first step in the court approval process, Mickelson said. The settlement comes a day after Pilgrim’s Pride announced a $75 million settlement in the class-action litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Tyson Foods is in the 60-day quiet period ahead of its fiscal 2021 first-quarter earnings report in mid-February. At that time, Tyson may provide details of the settlement cost and the impact on earnings.
Timothy Mulreinin, a former Tyson Foods director of sales, was one of 10 poultry executives indicted on federal antitrust charges in October. Tyson received leniency accommodations from the Department of Justice who said the company proactively self-reported details pertinent to the investigation.
Shares of Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) closed Tuesday trading at $64.01, down 76 cents. Tyson shares have traded from $42.57 to $93.68 in the past 52 weeks. Over the past year, the share value has dropped 30%.