A federal appeals court refused to rehear an unsuccessful lawsuit filed on behalf of Horizon Lines shareholders who accused company officials of misstatements in connection with the company’s price-fixing in the Puerto Rico trade.
A Delaware federal judge dismissed two versions of the case in 2009 and 2010. A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the dismissal, and this week the full 3rd Circuit refused to rehear the appeal.
The court ruling clears up another thread in the web of litigation stemming from a federal price-fixing investigation that led to Horizon’s guilty plea last March to a felony antitrust violation.
The guilty plea and $45 million fine, later reduced to $15 million, threatened to put Horizon in default of its bond covenants and triggered a months-long effort to restructure the company’s finances. Horizon plans this month to complete a $655 million refinancing that will leave bondholders with most of the company’s stock.