World Online Investors Settle With RBS, Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and other banks agreed to pay as much as 110 million euros ($147 million) to World Online International NV shareholders in a settlement with Dutch investor group VEB.

VEB and the banks agreed on the outline of a settlement over claims shareholders were misled about the Dutch Internet provider’s initial public offering in 2000, VEB, which represents 12,000 World Online investors, said on its website today.

World Online tumbled more than 60 percent in Amsterdam trading in the six months after the IPO in March 2000 before Italian Internet provider Tiscali SpA agreed to buy the company. ABN Amro Holding NV and Goldman Sachs led the banks organizing the share sale.

The Dutch Supreme Court last year ruled the prospectus of the share sale included misleading information about the company’s value and performance projections.

VEB said that RBS and Goldman Sachs negotiated on behalf of other banks, which it didn’t identify.

RBS, which acquired parts of ABN Amro in 2007, confirmed the settlement.

“We are happy we are approaching closure in this case,” Katalin Herczog, an Amsterdam-based spokeswoman for RBS, said by telephone.

Joanna Carss, a London-based spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at jvandepol@bloomberg.net; Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net.

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