NEW YORK, July 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
IN RE 2014 AVON PRODUCTS, INC. ERISA LITIGATION
14 Civ. 10083 (LGS)
SUMMARY NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION AND FAIRNESS HEARING
TO: ALL PERSONS WHO WERE PARTICIPANTS IN OR BENEFICIARIES OF THE AVON PERSONAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT PLAN (THE "PLAN") AT ANY TIME FROM JULY 31, 2006, THROUGH FEBRUARY 29, 2016 (THE "CLASS PERIOD"), AND WHOSE PLAN ACCOUNTS INCLUDED INVESTMENTS IN THE AVON STOCK FUND.
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. A FEDERAL COURT AUTHORIZED THIS NOTICE.
THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE NOT BEING SUED.
A Settlement has been preliminarily approved by a federal court in a consolidated class action lawsuit against Avon Products, Inc. ("Avon" or the "Company") and certain individuals, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). A Qualified Settlement Fund consisting of Six Million Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($6,250,000) in cash is being established in the Action. Class Counsel believes that the Qualified Settlement Fund will allow for tax-free distribution to retirement accounts of members of the Class. The Qualified Settlement Fund, including accrued interest, after payment of any taxes, expenses, approved attorneys' fees and costs, and a Case Contribution Award to the Named Plaintiffs (after deductions, the "Net Settlement Fund"), will be allocated to Settlement Class members according to a Plan of Allocation to be approved by the Court. The estimated amount of the Net Settlement Fund is Four Million Three Hundred Forty-Five Thousand Dollars ($4,345,000). All capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Summary Notice have the meaning provided in the Amended Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release (the "Settlement Stipulation") available on the Settlement website identified below. If you qualify, you will receive an allocation without taking any further action. You do not need to send in a claim or take any other action to participate in the Settlement. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York authorized this Notice.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?
If you were a participant in the Plan at any time from July 31, 2006, through February 29, 2016, or if you were a beneficiary of any such participant, and your Plan account included investment in the Avon Stock Fund, then you are a member of the Settlement Class (a "Settlement Class member").
WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
Plaintiffs claim that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by continuing to allow the investment of the Plan's assets in the Avon Stock Fund when Defendants knew or should have known that such investment was imprudent, and by other related acts during the Settlement Class Period. Plaintiffs' allegations are described in more detail in the Complaint available on the Settlement website identified below. All Defendants deny any and all wrongdoing and believe that if the case continued, Defendants would prevail. Both sides agreed to the Settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation.
WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?
A Net Settlement Fund of approximately $4.345 million will be divided among eligible Settlement Class members. The Settlement Stipulation, other related documentation, and a list of frequently asked questions are available at the Settlement website identified below, and further describe the details of the proposed Settlement. Your share (if any) of the Net Settlement Fund will depend upon the amount and value of shares of Avon common stock held in your Plan account(s) during the Class Period, as described in the Plan of Allocation that the Court has preliminarily approved. While there is nothing you have to do to receive a Settlement distribution, if any, pursuant to the Settlement, the amount to which you are entitled, if anything, cannot be determined until after the Court has finally approved the Settlement. At that time, the Plan's records and a formula approved by the Court will be used to calculate each Settlement Class member's distribution, if any, under the Settlement.
If the Settlement is approved by the Court, all Settlement Class members and anyone claiming through them shall be deemed to fully release the "Defendants' Releasees" from "Plaintiffs' Released Claims." Defendants' Releasees are broadly defined in the Settlement Stipulation, and include, among others, the Defendants and their related entities and any and all of their officers, directors, employees, attorneys, insurers, reinsurers, agents, successors, assigns, heirs, executors, and administrators. Plaintiffs' Released Claims, which also are broadly defined in the Settlement Stipulation, include, among others, any and all claims that were or could have been asserted in the Action. This means that Settlement Class members will be enjoined from and will not have the right to sue the released persons for anything related to the investment of Plan assets in the Avon Stock Fund or related matters during the Class Period.
HOW DO I RECEIVE A PAYMENT?
If you are a Settlement Class member and are entitled to a share of the Net Settlement Fund according to the Settlement Stipulation and Plan of Allocation, you are not required to do anything to receive a payment. If you are a Settlement Class member with an active Plan account, the payment will be made directly to your Plan account in accordance with investment elections currently in effect, or, if no such elections have been made, into the Plan's qualified default investment alternative. If you are a Settlement Class member without an active Plan account, the payment will be made to you by the Settlement Administrator. If your address has changed since you closed your Plan account, please contact Class Counsel toll-free at 877-234-6578 to advise them of the change of address.
CAN I OBJECT TO OR OPT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT?
You do not have the right to exclude yourself from the Settlement in this case, but you do have the right to object by writing to the Court. You will be bound by any judgments or orders that are entered in this Action, and if the Settlement is approved, you will be deemed to have released all of the Defendants' Releasees from all claims that were or could have been asserted in this case, other than your right to obtain the relief provided to you, if any, by the Settlement.
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing in this case at 10:30 a.m. on October 11, 2016, in Courtroom 1106 of Judge Lorna G. Schofield, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007, to consider whether to approve the Settlement and a request by the lawyers representing all Settlement Class members for attorneys' fees and for reimbursement of other case-related expenses, and for a Case Contribution Award to the Named Plaintiffs. If approved, these amounts will be paid from the Qualified Settlement Fund. You may ask to speak at the hearing by filing a Notice of Intention to Appear by September 22, 2016, but you are not required to do so.
Although you cannot opt out of the Settlement, you may object to all or any part of the Settlement in accordance with the instructions included in the Class Notice available at the Settlement website identified below. Objections must be postmarked, or if not sent by United States Postal Service mail, received by the Court, by September 22, 2016. Please note that the time, place, and date of the hearing may change without a further mailing. Class Counsel will update the Settlement website identified below if the hearing time or location is changed. Please check the website or contact Class Counsel if you wish to confirm that the hearing time has not been changed.
HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
If you are a Settlement Class member and would like to receive additional information or to receive a copy of the long-form Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action and Fairness Hearing, call toll-free, 877-234-6578, or visit AvonERISAsettlement.com.
SOURCE Stull, Stull & Brody and Zamansky LLC