Bankers Trust New York Corp. has agreed to pay $67 million to partially compensate Air Products and Chemicals for leveraged derivatives losses.
The settlement, disclosed Wednesday by Air Products, is the largest to date by Bankers Trust, dwarfing the $14 million it paid to Gibson Greetings or the $12 million to Federal Paper Board Co.
Experts said the settlement reflects both the bank's lack of confidence in its case and a desire to put its derivatives disputes behind it, particularly now that Frank R. Newman has taken over as chief executive.
"The fact that they settled at this high percentage of the losses does indicate that they feel they would lose the case," said Heinz Binggeli, a managing director at Emcor Risk Management.
Air Products had lost $107 million on derivatives contracts it entered into with Bankers Trust from October to December 1993.
Some were surprised at the settlement's size because Bankers Trust appeared to have some legal momentum. Late last year, a London court ruled that PT Dharmala, an Indonesian company, should pay the New York bank $69 million for two swaps.
Bankers Trust said the settlement was reflected in its fourth-quarter earnings.
"We're pleased to be able to put these past difficulties behind us and are especially pleased to conclude this matter with Air Products, a valued client with whom we continue to enjoy a constructive relationship," said a bank spokesman.
Bankers Trust stock dropped 50 cents Wednesday, to $62.125 a share.