TC Energy to appeal $199 million payment in lawsuit related to Columbia Pipeline deal

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows smartphone with TC Energy's logo displayed

(Reuters) - Pipeline operator TC Energy Corp said on Wednesday it disagreed with the Delaware Chancery Court's decision of allocating liability for earlier damages in an ongoing class action lawsuit related to its 2016 acquisition of Columbia Pipeline worth $13 billion.

Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of the Delaware Chancery Court ruled that TC Energy needs to pay $199 million to sell-side shareholders of Columbia due to the company, along with two former executives of Columbia Pipeline, "not disclosing material information in the face of a duty to disclose."

Filed in July 2018, ex-Columbia CEO Robert Skaggs and CFO Stephen Smith were accused of engineering a spin-off of Columbia from NiSource, and then selling Columbia to TC Energy at a lowball price to obtain lucrative change-of-control payments.

However, in one of the earlier cases, known as an appraisal case, Laster had found that the $25.50 per share takeover price was fair.

While Columbia's former executives settled with plaintiffs prior to trial for $79 million, TC Energy disputed the allegations.

(Reporting by Seher Dareen and Anjana Anil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)