The Coca-Cola Company agreed to pay $137.5 million to settle a lawsuit with investors that claimed company officials misrepresented or omitted information in statements, which caused inflated stock prices, the Associated Press reported.
The AP reported that the plaintiffs in the suit were the Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia & Vicinity and Local 144 Nursing Home Pension Fund, now called 1199 SEIU Greater New York Pension Fund. The groups filed the suit in 2000, after Coca-Cola announced a $550-million write down, according to Flex News.
Flex reported that the plaintiffs claim Coca-Cola engaged in “channel stuffing” by forcing bottlers in Japan to buy more syrup to inflate Coke’s sales.
The beverage giant admitted no wrongdoing when they settled the suit Thursday, July 3. The defendants believed they would ultimately prevail, but considered the risk and expense of going forward and, therefore, decided to settle, court records show.