Coca-Cola agrees to $137.5 mln settlement in case

Reuters-  Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) agreed to pay $137.5 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that claimed the world’s largest soft drink maker artificially inflated sales to boost its stock price, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed in October 2000, claimed that in 1999 Coca-Cola had forced some bottlers to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary beverage concentrate in an effort to make its sales seem higher.

Bottlers use the beverage concentrate to make soft drinks.

Institutional investors, led by Carpenters Health & Welface Fund of Philadelphia & Vicinity, said the practice, known as "channel stuffing," artificially inflated Coca-Cola’s results and gave investors a false picture of the company’s health.

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