New York (ots/PRNewswire) - Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel (Entwistle &
Cappucci LLP) and the Claims Administrator (The Garden City Group)
appointed by the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland issue this informational release to clarify certain
incorrect statements made by the VEB concerning claims submitted to
participate in the settlement of the class action against Royal Ahold
N.V. ("Ahold") in the United States.
Contrary to the VEB's recent statements to the media, claimants in
the Ahold class action in the Netherlands and all over the world are
provided more than one opportunity to correct deficiencies in the
documentation that they have submitted to participate in the Ahold
settlement. The First Deficiency Notice, which approximately 16% of
Dutch claimants received, is the first opportunity that such
claimants have to correct the identified problems. Most of the noted
deficiencies involve forms that do not include all of the information
needed to substantiate the purchases and sales of Ahold common stock
noted on the claimant's form. The Claims Administrator has requested
that claimants receiving the First Deficiency Notice submit a
response by 8 January 2007. Claimants who do not respond by that date
will receive a second opportunity to correct the information
submitted with their claim forms, but all claimants are encouraged to
correct noted deficiencies as soon as possible to ensure payment.
Claimants must understand that the procedure for addressing and
correcting deficiencies is designed to accomplish the important goals
of: (i) making sure that claimants with valid claims have an
opportunity to demonstrate the validity of their claims; and (ii)
preventing the submission of fraudulent claims. The process for
addressing noted deficiencies proceeds according to a carefully
planned schedule, which remains on track and no claims have been
rejected or will be rejected until each claimant has at least two
opportunities to correct or otherwise address any noted problems.
Again, claimants are encouraged to act as quickly as possible to
correct identified problems.
The majority of the identified deficiencies involve incomplete
transaction information. Contrary to statements made by the VEB,
these problems do not involve the format of the documents provided by
claimants and/or their banks. Instead, these problems arise from
incomplete documentation that does not enable the Claims
Administrator to perform the arithmetic required to calculate the
value of claims.
Despite the volume of statements made in the Dutch press, the VEB
has no official role in the claims process. Instead, each claimant
that has received a deficiency letter must communicate directly with
the Claims Administrator to resolve their claims. Anyone that still
has a deficient claim as of 8 January 2007 will receive a second
letter explaining the remaining deficiency and providing an
additional period of time for the claimant to resolve any remaining
issues directly with the Claims Administrator. The Claims
Administrator will continue to work directly with any bank (and all
claimants) that have questions regarding documentation to solve their
problems and to help ensure that all persons with valid claims are
included in the Ahold settlement.
Claimants must understand that the VEB has never had any approved
role in the United States Class Action against Ahold, and the VEB has
no official role in the procedure for correcting deficient claims
submitted in the settlement. The VEB is not authorized to speak to
the Claims Administrator on behalf of any investor, and no claimant
should contact the VEB expecting to resolve deficiencies or to
address officially any other issue regarding the Ahold settlement.
Instead, all claimants, banks, and other financial institutions that
manage funds or otherwise invest for claimants should act as quickly
as possible to submit all required transaction information directly
to the Claims Administrator.
We understand that claimants may need help to ensure that they are
submitting all of the correct documentation. For this reason,
claimants are reminded and encouraged to direct any and all questions
regarding the process or individual claims to the Claims
Administrator in the United States by email at
Questions@AholdSettlement.com or by telephone to the international
call center toll-free at 001-800-1020-4060 or at 001-941-906-4864.
The best time for Dutch claimants to call is between 9:00 a.m. and
5:00 p.m. CET. The Claims Administrator is prepared to answer your
questions in English or in Dutch.
ots Originaltext: Entwistle & Cappucci LLP and The Garden City Group
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Contact details: Andrex Entwistle, +1-212-894-7200