Hastie Group Ltd Investor Class Action
Slater and Gordon is preparing a class action on behalf of a group of aggrieved investors who acquired shares in building services company Hastie Group Limited (Hastie) in the months before the company was placed into voluntary administration.
The proposed class action will be against Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Deloitte Corporate Finance Pty Limited (Deloitte entities), a financial advisory group. The proposed class will receive litigation funding by IMF Bentham Ltd, subject to sufficient interest from affected investors.
On 17 June 2011, Hastie Group Limited lodged a prospectus with the ASX for a $160 million capital-raising by way of institutional placements and a renounceable entitlement offer. In the following months, the company announced a series of asset impairments, substantially downgraded its full year earnings guidance, and announced an anticipated earnings loss of $146 million for the first half of the 2011/12 financial year.
In May 2012, Hastie declared that it had discovered ‘accounting irregularities’ in its services business dating back to 2009, resulting in the resignation of two non-executive directors and the company being placed into voluntary administration shortly thereafter. PPB was appointed as administrators.
On 21 January 2013, PPB Advisory released its Administrators’ Report to Creditors, ahead of the creditors meetings being held on 30 and 31 January 2013. The Report:
- confirmed that the Hastie Group is insolvent, and recommended that it be placed into liquidation;
- detailed the likely reasons for the collapse of the Group; and
- identified a number of potential breaches of statutory and general law duties by the company’s directors, auditor and professional advisors.
A number of aggrieved investors in Hastie (including mum and dad and institutional investors) have contacted Slater and Gordon following Hastie’s collapse in May 2012.
“The proposed class action will allege that the Deloitte entities made misstatements in the prospectus document and that, as a result, investors who purchased Hastie shares may have suffered a compensable loss,” Mr Finney said.
“Based on our investigations, it is our opinion, that there are reasonable grounds to allege that the Deloitte entities engaged in misleading conduct and, as a result, investors who bought Hastie shares, following the release of the prospectus, may be entitled to recover any losses suffered.”
All current and former shareholders who acquired shares in Hastie, on or after 14 June 2011, are invited to register their interest in the proposed class action.
Investors who wish to participate in the proposed class action may obtain an information pack by visiting the website of IMF Bentham Limited at http://www.imf.com.au/cases/register/hastie-group-limited-overview