02/08/2012 06:58 EST | Updated 04/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Arctic Glacier Class Action Suit: Winnipeg company Agrees $13.75M Settlement


WINNIPEG - Arctic Glacier Income Fund (CNSX:AG.UN) announced Wednesday that has agreed to a $13.75-million settlement of a class action lawsuit filed in Canada by unitholders of the fund.

The Winnipeg-based packaged ice supplier said the payout will be entirely funded by company's insurers, without the fund admitting liability or making any monetary contribution.

The settlement remains subject to approval by the Ontario Court.

The class action suit sought damages on behalf of all persons who acquired Arctic Glacier units between March 22, 2002, and Sept. 16, 2008, and who held some or all of these units on Sept. 16, 2008.

It named the fund and its trustees, its operating company Arctic Glacier Inc., and certain of its current and past senior officers and directors.

In the Ontario lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed Arctic Glacier stated the packaged ice industry was "very competitive" but later announced it was a subject of an antitrust investigation by the U.S. government.

The Ontario plaintiffs alleged their units declined in market value because of the allegations.

Over the years, Arctic Glacier has been the subject of a number of government, industry and investor lawsuits involving its business practices.

In 2011, the fund settled four lawsuits in Ontario and Alberta by direct purchasers of packaged ice and agreed to pay $2 million.

In 2009, a U.S. subsidiary pleaded guilty to participating in "a criminal, anti-competitive conspiracy."

Michigan's attorney general said that Arctic Glacier agreed to pay a $350,000 fine. It was accused of conspiring with another ice company to assign customers in order to lead to potentially higher ice prices.

In 2011 Arctic Glacier resolved a class action with U.S. purchasers and a civil action in Wisconsin.