Slater and Gordon and global litigation funder IMF Bentham Limited (IMF) have issued proceedings 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?
The class action alleges 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?
The proceeding has been filed as 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.
The proceeding is funded by IMF, and participants will not be required to pay any fees unless the class action is successful. Any amount payable to IMF in respect of a funding commission or legal costs 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 registering your claim in the 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.