Shareholders Agree to Support Company in Litigation Against
Southern Union and ONEOK
LAS VEGAS, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE: SWX)
announced today that the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California gave its preliminary approval of a settlement with the
lead shareholder representatives in the California shareholder class action
lawsuit. The settlement, which is subject to final court approval, covers
those who purchased or held Southwest stock at any time during the period from
December 14, 1998, though January 21, 2000.
Among the terms of the settlement, Southwest's shareholders will support
the company in its claims against Southern Union Company (NYSE: SUG) and
ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE) in litigation pending in Federal District Court in
Phoenix, Arizona ("Arizona litigation").
"We are gratified to have reached this settlement with our shareholders.
We believe that their support will strengthen the company's position in the
Arizona litigation," said Thomas Y. Hartley, Chairman of the Board of
Southwest Gas. The lead attorney for the shareholders, William Lerach of
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP, stated: "On behalf of Southwest's
shareholders, we are extremely pleased to have resolved the California
litigation in this manner and that Southwest has agreed to share a substantial
portion of its potential recovery in the Arizona litigation with its
Trial of the Arizona cases is currently scheduled to commence on
November 13, 2001, in Phoenix. The federal judge overseeing these cases has
dismissed all racketeering claims against Southwest, its officers, and
directors, and many additional claims against individual officers and
directors of the company. Southwest has filed motions asking the Court to
render judgment in its favor on the remaining claims by Southern Union and
ONEOK. In the Arizona litigation, Southwest seeks recovery of the substantial
damages it suffered as a result of the failure of the ONEOK merger, which
Southwest's complaint alleges were caused by the wrongful conduct of Southern
Union and ONEOK.
Southwest Gas Corporation provides natural gas service to approximately
1,352,000 customers in Arizona, Nevada and California. Its service territory
is centered in the fastest-growing region of the country.
This press release may contain statements which constitute "forward-
looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995 (Reform Act). All such forward-looking statements are intended to be
subject to the safe harbor protection provided by the Reform Act. A number of
important factors affecting the business and financial results of the Company
could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in the
forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to,
the impact of weather variations on customer usage, natural gas prices, the
effects of regulation/deregulation, the timing and amount of rate relief,
changes in capital requirements and funding, acquisitions, and competition.
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SOURCE Southwest Gas Corporation
Web site: http: //www.southwestgas.com
Company News On-Call: http: //www.prnewswire.com/comp/804969.html
CONTACT: Thomas R. Sheets of Southwest Gas Corporation, +1-702-876-7337