Pittsburgh-General Nutrition Companies Inc. today announced that more than 75 percent of its franchise operators have accepted the previously announced proposed settlement of three lawsuits seeking class action status for all of GNC's U.S. franchisees. The settlement was scheduled for final approval in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Mike Meyers, president and COO of GNC, said, "We are very pleased that the great majority of GNC franchisees have endorsed this settlement. This is just one step in an ongoing and focused plan to provide our franchisees with tangible business improvements. The franchising system is critical to the growth of the GNC brand, and we are committed to working with franchisees to increase year-over-year sales and improve margins in what continues to be a challenging retailing environment."

Under the terms of the settlement, GNC is committed to providing participating franchisees with, among other things, a total of approximately $2.7 million in wholesale credits on purchases of the company's private label products over the period of 24 months. -Miller DeMartine Group