You may have held shares of Blount common stock on the record date, March 4, 2016.
The Court directed that the Notice be sent to you because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.
If the Court approves the Settlement, and after any objections or appeals are resolved, the Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows.
The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, Class Members’ legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of the case is Judge Michael H. Simon of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division (the “Court”), and the case is known as Azar v. Blount International, Inc., et al., Case No. 3:16-CV-00483-SI.
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more people called plaintiffs (in this case Elia Azar and Dean Alfange, who were appointed by the Court as Lead Plaintiffs) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims, called the Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who timely and validly exclude themselves from the Class.Back To Top
The Court did not finally decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides, with the assistance of retired Honorable Layn R. Phillips, acting as a mediator, agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the risks and cost of a trial. Plaintiffs and their attorneys think the Settlement is in the best interest of the Settlement Class.Back To Top
The Class includes all persons who held Blount common stock continuously from March 4, 2016, the record date for voting on the proposed acquisition of Blount by American Securities LLC and P2 Capital Partners LLC, through April 12, 2016, when the Transaction was completed. Certain persons are excluded from the Class, as described belowBack To Top
You are not a Class Member if you are a Defendant, a Purchaser, an officer or director of Blount at any relevant time, a member of the immediate family of an Individual Defendant or any such person’s legal representative, heir, successor or assign, or any entity in which a Defendant has or had a controlling interest. You are also not a Class Member if you sold your Blount stock after March 4, 2016 and before April 12, 2016 or timely and validly request exclusion from the Class pursuant to the Notice.Back To Top
You are still not sure if you are included, you can ask for free help. You can visit this site for more information. You can also contact the attorneys for Lead Plaintiffs, listed below:
W. Scott Holleman
Johnson Fistel, LLP
99 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Shannon L. Hopkins
Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
1111 Summer Street, Suite 403
Stamford, CT 06905
Defendants have agreed to pay $3,059,000.00 in cash. The balance of this fund after payment of Court-approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, Lead Plaintiffs’ expenses, and the costs of claims administration, including the costs of printing and mailing this Notice and the cost of publishing newspaper notice (the “Net Settlement Fund”) will be divided among all eligible Class Members who send in valid claim forms.Back To Top
Your share of the fund will depend on the number of shares of Blount common stock represented by valid claims made by Members of the Class and the amount of those claims and the number of shares of Blount common stock you held on the record date. Assuming that all of the investors (other than Defendants or other excluded Persons) who held Blount common stock on the record date, March 4, 2016, and suffered damages therefrom participate in this Settlement, Lead Plaintiffs’ counsel estimates that the estimated average distribution will be approximately $0.08 per share of Blount common stock before the deduction of Court-approved fees and expenses, as described in FAQ 16 (estimated to be approximately $0.04 per share), and the cost of notice and claims administration. Historically, less than all eligible investors submit claims, resulting in higher average distributions per share.
The Net Settlement Fund will be distributed to Class Members who submit valid, timely Proof of Claim and Release forms (“Claimants”) on a pro rata basis. However, no distributions will be made to Claimants who would otherwise receive a distribution of less than $10.00.
Payment shall be conclusive against all Claimants. No Person shall have any claim against Lead Plaintiffs’ counsel, Lead Plaintiffs, the Claims Administrator, Defendants and their Related Parties, Defense Counsel, or any Person designated by Lead Plaintiffs’ counsel based on distributions made substantially in accordance with the Stipulation and the Settlement contained therein, or further order(s) of the Court. No Class Member shall have any claim against any Released Persons for any Released Claims. All Class Members who fail to complete and file a valid and timely Proof of Claim and Release form shall be barred from participating in distributions from the Net Settlement Fund (unless otherwise ordered by the Court), but otherwise shall be bound by all of the terms of the Stipulation, including the terms of any judgment entered and the releases given.Back To Top
To qualify for payment, you must be an eligible Class Member, send in a valid claim form, and properly document your claim as requested in the claim form. A claim form is enclosed with this Notice. You may also obtain a Proof of Claim and Release form here. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, include all the documents the form asks for, sign it, and mail or submit it online no later than August 12, 2019. The claim form can be submitted online here.Back To Top
The Court will hold a hearing on September 9, 2019, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If Judge Simon approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain how these appeals will be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps several years. Everyone who sends in a claim form will be informed of the determination with respect to their claim. Please be patient.Back To Top
Unless you timely and validly exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Released Persons about the Released Claims in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you and you will release your claims in this case against the Released Persons. The terms of the release are included in the claim form. You can maintain your own lawsuit only if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail saying that you want to be excluded from the Class in Azar v. Blount International, Inc., et al., Case No. 3:16-CV-00483-SI. You must provide the following information:
You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than August 19, 2019, to:
Blount International, Inc. Securities Litigation
P.O. Box 2312
Portland, OR 97208-2312
You cannot exclude yourself on the phone or by email. If you ask to be excluded, you will not receive any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.Back To Top
No. Unless you timely and validly exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue for the Released Claims in this Settlement. If you have a pending lawsuit against any of the Released Persons, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. Remember, the exclusion deadline is August 19, 2019.Back To Top
No. If you exclude yourself, do not send in a Proof of Claim and Release Form. But you may be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Defendants.Back To Top
Yes. The Court appointed Johnson Fistel, LLP and Levi & Korsinsky, LLP to lead the litigation, which the Plaintiffs brought on behalf of themselves and all other Class Members. These lawyers are called Lead Counsel. You will not be charged directly for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
In the two years that this Action has been pending, Lead Counsel have not been paid for their services on behalf of Lead Plaintiffs and the Class, nor for their substantial expenses. The fee requested is to compensate Lead Counsel for their work investigating the facts, litigating the case over the past two years, and negotiating the Settlement.
Lead Plaintiffs’ counsel will ask the Court to award litigation expenses of no more than $400,000 and a payment of 33.3% of the Settlement Amount for attorneys’ fees. The fee requested is well within the range of fees awarded to class counsel in similar cases. Lead Counsel may also seek the Court’s approval to pay Lead Plaintiffs reasonable costs and expenses directly relating to the representation of the Class. The Court may award less than these amounts.Back To Top
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement or the request for fees and expenses if you do not like any part of these matters. You can state the reasons why you think the Court should not approve any of the relief sought. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Azar v. Blount International, Inc., Case No. 3:16-CV-00483-SI. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature, the number of shares of Blount common stock you held on the record date, March 4, 2016, and the reason(s) why you object to the Settlement or the request for fees and expenses. Mail the objection to the Court, Lead Counsel, and Defense Counsel in time for it to be received no later than August 19, 2019:
|Court||Lead Counsel||Defense Counsel|
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
District of Oregon,
Mark O. Hatfield
United States Courthouse
1000 Southwest Third Ave.
Portland, OR 97204
Johnson Fistel LLP
W. Scott Holleman
99 Madison Avenue, 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement or the fee and expense request. You can object only if you stay in the Class.
Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be paid and do not want to release any claims. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlement because it does not affect you.Back To Top
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m., on September 9, 2019, before the Honorable Michael H. Simon at the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division, Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, 1000 Southwest Third Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204-2944. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Simon will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court will also consider whether to approve the fee and expense requests. The Court may decide the issues at the hearing or take them under consideration. We do not know how long these decisions will take.Back To Top
No. Lead Counsel will answer questions Judge Simon may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.Back To Top
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that it is your intention to appear in Azar v. Blount International, Inc., Case No. 3:16-CV-00483-SI. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, the number of shares of Blount common stock you held from the record date, March 4, 2016, through the completion of the Transaction, April 12, 2016, and your signature. Your notice of intention to appear must be received no later than August 19, 2019, by the Clerk of the Court, Lead Counsel, and Defense Counsel, at the addresses listed in FAQ 17.
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Class.Back To Top
If you do nothing, you will not receive any money from this Settlement. In addition, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit about the Released Claims in this case.Back To Top
The CUSIP for the Class Period is 095180105. The ticker symbol from March 4, 2016 through April 12, 2016 was BLT.Back To Top