Buyout titans dangled more than $200 million in front of investors in hopes of settling a long-running bid-rigging suit before it goes to trial, The Post has learned.
Former shareholders in companies acquired by the biggest private-equity firms rejected the settlement offer last month, setting the stage for a courtroom showdown, a source said.
“There have been big numbers bandied about,” the source added. “The offer was hundreds of millions.”
A federal judge is expected to rule soon on whether to certify the case as a class action — a move that could significantly raise the stakes and the potential damages, sources said.
The defendants include no less than the biggest-private equity firms, including Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR.
They made the settlement offer as a consolidated group, the source said.
Shareholders allege that the firms teamed on deals, including the buyouts of Univision, Harrah’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, Sabre and Alltel, so they would not be competing against each other and could keep prices artificially low.