Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Jeld-Wen’s $40 Million Investor Settlement Gets Final Court Nod

Nov. 23, 2021, 6:11 PM

Jeld-Wen Inc. investors won final approval from a federal judge in Virginia for a $40 million class action settlement of claims that the door manufacturer kept them in the dark about its antitrust violations.

Judge John A. Gibney Jr. signed off Monday on the agreement, which ends securities fraud litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Jeld-Wen and its private equity backers at Onex Corp.

The deal calls for payments of $39.5 million by Jeld-Wen and $500,000 by Onex, according to court filings. It includes an award of $10 million in legal fees to counsel for the investors.

“In light of the benefits to the class” and “the complexity and expense of further litigation,” the settlement “is, in all respects, fair, reasonable, and adequate,” the judge wrote. “Class counsel conducted the litigation and achieved the settlement with skill, perseverance, and diligent advocacy.”

The ruling comes about five months after Gibney approved the second part of an $81 million agreement resolving the antitrust class action that led to the shareholder lawsuit. Jeld-Wen and the country’s other top door maker, Masonite Corp., split the earlier payment.

The lawsuits accused Jeld-Wen and Masonite of exploiting their 85% control of the “interior molded door” market to raise prices nearly in unison for years while concealing their conspiracy.

The consolidated class actions followed an antitrust suit by door maker Steves & Sons Inc., a 150-year-old family-run business that won a major jury verdict in a case challenging Jeld-Wen’s acquisition of the only independent manufacturer of the paneled “skins” used as door exteriors.

The Steves litigation culminated in a novel ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which became the first federal appeals court to unwind a merger at the request of a rival rather than a regulator.

Labaton Sucharow LLP and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP are co-lead counsel for the shareholders, with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC as liaison counsel.

Jeld-Wen and its executives are represented by McGuireWoods LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Onex is represented by Christian & Barton LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

The case is In re Jeld-Wen Holding Inc. Sec. Litig., E.D. Va., No. 20-cv-112, 11/22/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Leonard in Washington at mleonard@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com