Class Action Background
Nufarm is an Australian-based crop protection company. Its business includes the production and supply of agricultural chemicals throughout the world, including the sale of glyphosate products which historically contributed to approximately one third of the company's overall revenue.
On 12 August 2011, a representative proceeding against Nufarm Limited was filed in the Federal Court of Australia (consolidating two separate class actions) seeking to recover losses suffered by shareholders as a result of alleged material non-disclosures and misleading conduct relating to Nufarm's glyphosate business (the Proceeding).
The Proceeding was brought on behalf of Nufarm shareholders who acquired an interest in Nufarm securities between 28 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 (inclusive) and who suffered loss as a result of the alleged misconduct.
Nufarm is a listed disclosing entity within the meaning of the Corporations Act. As such, it is required to comply with the "continuous disclosure" regime under ASX Listing Rule 3.1 and section 674 of the Corporations Act. Under these provisions, Nufarm is required to advise shareholders and the market of all information of which it was, or ought to have been, aware which might materially affect its share price. Information is likely to have a material effect on the share price if the information would be likely to influence people who commonly invest in shares in deciding whether to buy, sell or retain shares.
The claim alleged that during the claim period, Nufarm failed to disclose the true position to the market and was therefore in breach of its continuous disclosure obligations.
The claim alleged that various statements made during the claim period were misleading and that the company did not have any reasonable basis to make such representations.
A copy of the applicants’ Further Amended Consolidated Statement of Claim can be found here. A copy of the Second Further Amended Originating Application can be found here.
A copy of Nufarm’s Defence can be found here.
Settlement of Nufarm Class Action
On 1 August 2012, following a Court-ordered mediation with Nufarm, Slater & Gordon announced that a conditional settlement of the class action had been reached, subject to approval by the Court (see our media release). Under the proposed settlement, Nufarm proposed to pay $43.5 million in compensation including the costs of conducting the claim.
On 27 November 2012, the settlement agreement was amended to cover an expanded number of claims, with Nufarm agreeing to pay a total of $46.6 million in compensation.
We are pleased to announce that on 28 November 2012, the Court approved the proposed settlement of the Nufarm Shareholder Class Action. The Court further ordered that Slater & Gordon and Maurice Blackburn jointly administer the settlement in accordance with the Settlement Distribution Scheme (Scheme).
The Court also approved the methodology by which each Participating Group Member’s loss (if any) is to be calculated, known as the ‘Loss Assessment Formula’.
Registrations are closed
We confirm that registrations for the Nufarm Shareholder Class Action are closed and that no new group members may be added.
On 11 September 2012, the Federal Court of Australia (the Court) ordered that Nufarm arrange for the Notice of the Proposed Settlement (Notice) be sent to group members who are potentially eligible to receive compensation by 19 September 2012. The Court also ordered that any person who wished to pursue a claim for compensation in the proposed settlement of the proceeding do so in accordance with the process set out in the Notice by 4pm on 19 October 2012. As that deadline has now passed, no further claims for compensation may be accepted.
If you did not take any action, by orders of the Court on 28 November 2012, you are now prevented from making any claim against Nufarm in relation to the allegations made in the Proceedings.
For more information please refer to the Notice of Proposed Settlement.
Those persons wishing to pursue a claim for compensation who were either:
(a) clients of Slater & Gordon or Maurice Blackburn as at 1 August 2012 in relation to the proceeding;
(b) who registered their claim in accordance with the terms of the Notice
are considered to be Participating Group Members in the Nufarm Class Action settlement. We will contact all Participating Group Members to confirm receipt of their claim for compensation as soon as practicable.
We may also contact you to request additional information or to verify the information you have provided to date.
Under the terms of the Scheme the Joint Administrators are required to notify each Participating Group Member of the calculation of their entitlement. Each Participating Group Member’s entitlement will be calculated in accordance with the Loss Assessment Formula. We expect to be in a position to provide details of likely distribution amounts in early 2013. Participating Group Members will have the opportunity to request, and have conducted, a review of their Assessment Notice.
We will provide you with further information regarding the settlement administration process and the likely timetable for distributing compensation in due course.
In the meantime, we would be grateful if you could please refrain from contacting us to enquire whether or not your claim has been received by our office or the progress of the Scheme. We will continue to update this webpage with further information regarding the proposed settlement and the timetable for distributing compensation.
We note that receiving unsolicited correspondence is likely to unnecessarily increase the costs of administrating the Scheme and will result in delays to the final distribution. However, if you need to contact us in relation to this matter, please do so by email (email@example.com) or by telephone on (03) 9602 6894 or (03) 9602 6975.