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North Face Inc. has decided to strike its flag in a court battle with a shareholder who accused the company in a lawsuit of hiding crucial information about a $25 million buyout offer from VF Corp. for the outdoor-gear outfitter. North Face officials agreed to disclose more information about the financial basis behind VF’s $2 per share offer prior to a deadline for North Face shareholders to vote on the offer, according to court papers made public in Wilmington, Del.’s Chancery Court. It also agreed to pay $150,000 to cover legal fees shareholders racked up in challenging the buyout. San Leandro, Calif.-based North Face, which sells gear for campers, mountaineers, extreme skiers and explorers, agreed in April to be bought out by Greensboro, N.C.-VF, which already owned 80 percent of North Face’s shares. North Face shareholder Jeffrey K. Polacheck filed suit in Delaware Chancery Court in July, contending shareholders weren’t being given enough information to make an informed decision on whether to vote in favor of the buyout. After negotiations between the company and Polacheck’s lawyers, North Face agreed to reveal more information about the transaction and its performance, including updates on recent financial results and on loans VF made to the company, according to court papers. “In view of the fact that the defendants were willing to disclose in a timely manner most of the information [requested], further prosecution of the action would not be in the best interests” of shareholders, Polacheck’s lawyers concluded in court papers. Vice Chancellor Leo Strine still must decide whether to give final approval to the settlement at a hearing set for Nov. 3. Polacheck is represented in the case by Ronald A. Brown of Wilmington’s Prickett Jones & Elliott along with Arthur T. Susman of Chicago’s Susman & Watkins. VF’s directors are represented by Robert K. Payson of Wilmington’s Potter Anderson & Corroon while VF officials are represented by Charles F. Richards Jr. and Srinivas M. Raju of Wilmington’s Richards Layton & Finger. The case is Jeffrey K. Polacheck v. VF Corp., et. al., CA No. 18152.

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