On April 17, 2009 Judge Bernstein issued his decision approving the class action settlement as proposed and dismissing the objections that had been filed and argued by a group of non employee shareholders.
Under the terms of the settlement each employee of Sovereign (whether or not they were even a Sovereign shareholder to begin with) was given 100 shares of Santander ADS. This 100 shares to each employee was in addition to any shares that a given employee was entitled to as part of the conversion of Sovereign stock owned previously by said employee.
The objectors had claimed that the settlement discriminated against non-employee shareholders. Non-employee shareholders did not get any additional Santander shares beyond those they were entitled to based on the conversion ratio. In addition the objectors argued that the issuance of the 100 additional shares to each employee had the effect of further diluting their ownership interest in Santander.