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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 10:22 GMT
Lucent settles shareholder lawsuits
Computer chip
Shareholders allege Lucent inflated its sales figures
Troubled telecoms equipment maker Lucent has agreed to settle all its outstanding shareholder lawsuits for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The settlement, which the plaintiff lawyers estimated would be worth over $600m (383m), would rank as the second-largest shareholder class action case ever.

The troubled telecoms company said it would have to take a $420m charge in its second quarter to pay for the settlement of the 54 lawsuits.

In their lawsuit, angry shareholders had alleged that Lucent had artificially inflated its financial results by booking hundreds of millions of dollars in phony sales.


"By resolving these legacy issues, we can put all of our energy into running the business and continuing to rebuild confidence in the performance of this company," Patricia Russo, chairman and chief executive of Lucent said in a statement.

By resolving these legacy issues, we can put all of our energy into running the business
Patricia Russo, chief executive Lucent

The troubled telecoms company has been hit hard in recent years by the downturn in telecom spending.

Lucent's shares have fallen sharply since it laid out a restructuring plan in January 2001.

Last January, it reported its eleventh consecutive quarterly loss.

But the New Jersey-based firm has also started restructuring parts of its business, selling off non-core assets, eliminating money-losing products and cutting about two-thirds of its work force.

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