An Australian court has approved an A$200m
($209m) settlement against the shopping centre company Centro and
its former auditor, PwC Australia, the largest accounting firm in
The settlement is the largest ever reached in
an Australian shareholder class action.
Centro will pay the biggest part of A$133m and
PwC will contribute A$67m.
The class action against Centro and PwC was
filed by two sets of shareholders seeking damages for one of the
largest accounting failures in Australian corporate history.
Melbourne court judge John Middleton said it
approved the settlement as the proposals adopt the fairest and most
reasonable approach to group members, taking into account the
prospects of recovery and risks of continuing to litigate these
In a previous hearing at the Federal Court in
April, PwC admitted negligence but not liability in relation to a
$1.1 billion short-term loan that had been misclassified as long
term, causing the then second largest shopping centre company in
Australia to nearly collapse.
Centro only revealed its difficulties in
refinancing this debt in December 2007.
PwC Australia reported revenue of A$1.43bn in
the year to 30 June 2012.