CSL settles plasma price-fixing case for $64M

CSL settles plasma price-fixing case for $64M

CSL Ltd. (ASX:CSL) said it agreed to pay $64 million to settle multi-district litigation accusing it of taking part in a price-fixing scheme for plasma therapy.

The settlement also clears a co-defendant in the case, the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Assn., CSL said. The deal must still be approved by a judge in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois, which is overseeing the MDL.

"While we continue to strongly reject any allegation of wrongdoing, we have negotiated a settlement of the litigation which we believe is in the best interests of the company and our shareholders. To pursue the case further would have required several more years of management time and focus as well as substantial additional legal costs with no absolute certainty of the outcome," CEO Paul Perreault said in prepared remarks.

The settlement is expected to shave $39 million from CSL’s net profit after tax, according to a press release.

A group of hospitals sued Baxter, CSL Ltd. and CSL Behring LLC and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Assoc. in 2009, accusing them of conspiring to keep the price of plasma therapy artificially high by constraining production beginning in 2003.

In September  Baxter (NYSE:BAX), the remaining defendant in the case, won its bid to force an FDA official to testify in the case.

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