The Brambles Limited Class Action is a class action against Brambles Limited (Brambles) in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of persons that acquired Brambles securities between 18 August 2016 and 17 February 2017 (inclusive) (the Claim Period).
What is the class action about?
It is alleged that shareholders have claims against Brambles in relation to guidance provided by the company in its FY16 results regarding expected revenue and sales growth during the financial year ending 30 June 2017 (FY17).
The claim alleges that during the Claim Period:
- Brambles made representations to investors in relation to its FY17 forecasts that were misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis;
- Brambles breached its continuous disclosure obligations under the ASX Listing Rules and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) by failing to revise its forecast and release material information; and
- As a result, investors who purchased Brambles shares at any time during the Claim Period have suffered compensable loss incurred as a result of the above alleged contraventions.
How do I participate in the class action?
On 8 May 2019, the Court ordered that separate class actions against Brambles, conducted by Slater and Gordon and Maurice Blackburn, be consolidated into a single proceeding, to be known as Holly Southernwood, and William Vincent Kidd & Mary Agnes Collum as Trustees for the Magness-Bennett Superannuation Fund v Brambles Limited.
The Court appointed Slater and Gordon and Maurice Blackburn as joint legal representatives in the consolidated proceeding, and the consolidated proceeding to be funded equally by IMF Bentham Limited (IMF) and Harbour Litigation Funding (Harbour).
How do I participate in the class action?
The consolidated proceeding is an ‘open class action’. This means the proceeding is open to all current and former Brambles shareholders who acquired Brambles shares at any time between 18 August 2016 and 17 February 2017 (inclusive) and who suffered loss.
If you satisfy these requirements you are a class member in the consolidated proceeding, and at this point in time, there is no deadline by which you must do anything further to participate in the class action.
However, if you wish to sign up with Slater and Gordon and IMF, to register your claim and receive updates in respect of the proceeding you can either:
- complete the online registration steps at www.imf.com.au/Brambles; or
- request an Information Pack from IMF by email firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- call IMF on 1800 016 464.
Alternatively, you can contact our Brambles Class Action Team on (03) 9949 8758 or by email at email@example.com.
How much will it cost to be part of the class action?
On 8 May 2019, the Court approved an application for a common fund order to be made in the consolidated proceeding. Download the common fund order (PDF, 26KB).
Under the terms of the common fund order, IMF and Harbour are required to fund the proceeding. This means that IMF and Harbour pay the costs of the proceeding as it progresses, and class members do not have to pay any fees unless the class action claims are successfully resolved. If the class action is successfully resolved, a contribution towards costs and funding commission will be deducted from each class member’s recovery. The rate of funding commission that is to be paid in the event of a successful outcome is not specified in the common fund orders, and will instead be determined by the Court at a later date.
If the class action is unsuccessful and the claims are lost, IMF and Harbour will bear the cost of the proceeding and pay the Brambles’ costs.
The Court will be required to approve any amount payable in respect of a funding commission or legal costs and any amount payable will never exceed the amount a claimant receives in the event of a successful outcome. That is, you will never be out of pocket by participating in the consolidated proceeding.
Timeline of events
On 18 August 2016, Brambles released its FY16 results, providing guidance for FY17 of profit growth between 9% to 11%, as well as sales growth projections of 7% to 9%.
The company restated this guidance some two months later at both its First Quarter Trading Update in October 2016, and at its AGM in November 2016.
However, in a series of announcements in late January 2017 and February 2017, Brambles announced that it no longer expected to achieve its guidance. Brambles instead revised its forecast profit and sales growth for FY17, ultimately reducing its projected sales growth expectations to just 5%, and profit growth of 0%.
The downgrade announcements surprised the market, with the Brambles share price falling by 15.8% following its first downgrade announcement in January 2017, and by a further 10% in the wake of the second downgrade announcement in February 2017.