Blackstone, KKR, TPG to pay $325 mln over LBO collusion

Thu Aug 7, 2014 11:35am EDT

Aug 7 (Reuters) - Three private equity firms have agreed to pay $325 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of colluding with rivals to keep prices down on corporate takeovers prior to the financial crisis by agreeing not to outbid each other.

Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co and TPG Capital Management LP will apportion the payment among themselves, according to a filing in the U.S. District Court in Boston.

The settlement will benefit shareholders of merger targets, and resolve the private equity firms' portions of the nearly seven-year-old lawsuit. None of the firms admitted wrongdoing.

Six defendants have now agreed to pay a combined $475.5 million in their respective settlements, which require court approval. Carlyle Group LP is the only remaining defendant. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)