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Dec 5, 4:36 AM EST

Royal Bank of Scotland settles claims of some shareholders

LONDON (AP) -- Royal Bank of Scotland says it has reached a settlement with three of five shareholder groups that sued over a 2008 share sale conducted by disgraced boss Fred Goodwin.

The bank, which was bailed out by the government shortly after the share sale, says it will pay as much as 800 million pounds ($1.02 billion) to settle the claims of all five groups.

The lawsuit stems from Goodwin's effort to strengthen RBS's balance sheet by raising 12 billion pounds from existing shareholders after the takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro. Just a few months later, the value of RBS shares plunged 90 percent.

Chief Executive Ross McEwan says he hopes all claimants will accept the settlement "so that this long course of complex and costly litigation can now be concluded."

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