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Aramark, shareholders settle buyout suit

PHILADELPHIA A Delaware judge approved a $222 million settlement between Aramark Corp., the contract foodservice company based here, and its shareholders in conjunction with the company's $8.3 billion buyout in January.

The settlement also included a provision in which Aramark would pay $2.1 million in legal fees and expenses to the shareholders' lawyers.

The bidders for the company, which included Aramark chairman Joseph Neubauer, and private equity firms Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Thomas H. Lee Partners and Warburg Pincus, originally said they would pay $32 a share for the company, but raised the offer to $33.80, or $222 million more, when shareholders objected to the initial bid because they said it was too low.

Aramark, which last year posted $11.6 billion in sales, completed the acquisition Jan. 26. The deal, funded in part by $4.4 billion in loans, marked the second time Neubauer took the company private. The first time was in 1984.

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