Lead Plaintiffs and Co-Lead Counsel believe that the claims asserted against Defendants have merit. They recognize, however, the expense and length of continued proceedings necessary to pursue their claims against the Defendants through trial and appeals, as well as the very substantial risks they would face in establishing liability. Even if the hurdles to establishing liability were overcome, the amount of damages that could be attributed to the allegedly false statements would be hotly contested. Plaintiffs would have to prevail at several stages – motions for summary judgment, trial, and if they prevailed on those, on the appeals that were likely to follow. Thus, there were very significant risks attendant to the continued prosecution of the Action.

In light of these risks, the amount of the Settlement and the immediacy of recovery to the Settlement Class, Lead Plaintiffs and Co-Lead Counsel believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. Lead Plaintiffs and Co-Lead Counsel believe that the Settlement provides a substantial benefit to the Settlement Class, namely three million seven hundred thousand dollars ($3,700,000.00 USD) in cash (less the various deductions described in the Notice), as compared to the risk that the claims in the Action would produce a smaller, or no recovery after summary judgment, trial and appeals, possibly years in the future.

Defendants have denied the claims asserted against them in the Action and deny having engaged in any wrongdoing or violation of law of any kind whatsoever. Defendants have agreed to the Settlement solely to eliminate the burden and expense of continued litigation. Accordingly, the Settlement may not be construed as an admission of any wrongdoing by Defendants.