Oracle Agrees to Pay $15 Million to Settle Pillar Lawsuit

Oracle Corp., the largest maker of database software, agreed to pay $15 million in attorneys’ fees to help settle a shareholder lawsuit challenging its purchase of a company controlled by founder Larry Ellison.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, in June 2011 bought San Jose, California-based Pillar Data Systems Inc. in a deal investors claimed was engineered solely to benefit Ellison, who owned 55 percent of the data-storage systems provider.

Ellison in October agreed to forgo a potential $575 million payout from the sale to resolve shareholders’ claims. The settlement was contingent on Oracle’s winning a court order requiring insurers to pay $20 million to cover legal fees, according to filings in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington.

A judge rejected that request in January and dismissed Oracle’s lawsuit seeking to force a payment by Beazley Plc, a London-based insurer. Under a revised settlement, Oracle will instead pay $5 million less in legal fees itself, according to court papers filed today.

The company has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The case is City of Roseville Employees’ Retirement System v. Ellison, CA6900, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).