Settlement Nears Between Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy

Alpha Natural Resources said a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a $265 million settlement with former Massey Energy investors who said they were deliberately misled about the company's safety record. A judge hasset a hearing for June to discuss the settlement. Investors led by the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment say the former Massey Energy Co. repeatedly lied about its record, artificially inflating stock prices between 2008 and 2010. They said shareholders had no knowledge of Massey's long history of violations until after the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia exploded in April 2010. Twenty-nine men died. Richmond-based Massey Energy was bought by Alpha Natural Resources in June 2011.