University of California, Berkeley, agreed to a $69 million settlement with Bank of America over its role as an underwriter for some Enron Corp. debt. The university is lead plaintiff in a securities class-action lawsuit against B of A. The university claimed it lost $144 million by purchasing more than 2 million shares of Enron securities at what it claims were artificially inflated prices. Under federal securities law, Bank of America was only liable for the loss of value of the securities sale it underwrote.
The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court in Houston and the University's Board of Regents, said Trey Davis, University of California spokesman. The regents, which oversee $60 billion in university retirement and endowment funds, are expected to take up the matter July 14-15.
Other pension plans in the class action include the $58 billion Washington State Investment Board, $11.7 billion San Francisco City & County Employees Retirement System; and $235 million Hawaii Laborers Pension Plan. Their boards do not have to approve the settlement.