NETHERLANDS - Dutch civil service scheme ABP, Europe’s largest pension fund, has settled a damages law suit for $20m (€16.5m) – or one-tenth of the original claim - against global movie and media giant AOL/TimeWarner.

The pension fund’s claim relates to accounting irregularities, which caused the US media group’s share price to plummet.

ABP sued AOL/TimeWarner for roughly $200m in 2003 over inflated results at America Online, which merged with TimeWarner in 2001. The share price dropped after the transaction, resulting is losses for investors.

IPE reported in August that ABP’s legal chief Rene Maatman indicated it wasn’t realistic to expect the full amount to be paid.

However, by suing on an individual basis, the scheme was likely to receive greater compensation than by joining a collective class action, where a $1m to $3m settlement was expected.

In the past, ABP won an individual case against drugs firm Bristol-Myers Squibb. This saw it win $4.5m in compensation instead of the $0.75m it would have won in a collective suit.

AOL/TimeWarner set aside approximately $3bn for settlements with angry investors towards the end of 2005. A reservation of $600m was made for individual cases.

ABP did not respond to questions from IPE.

Last week, ABP chief investment officer Roderick Munsters announced ABP was considering opening an office in Asia. Hong Kong is top of the list, but Singapore and Shanghai are also in the running.