Slater and Gordon (SGH), as instructed by the lead plaintiff, has commenced a group proceeding (class action) against Treasury Wine Estates Limited (TWE) on behalf of persons that acquired TWE securities from 14 February 2019 to the release of a market announcement made late on 28 January 2020.
The proceeding alleges that eligible shareholders have claims against TWE in relation to losses suffered following the Company’s announcement to the ASX after close of trade on 28 January 2020. In its announcement, TWE disclosed the following in relation to the financial year ended 30 June 2020 (FY20):
- TWE's earnings before interest, tax, SGARA and material items (EBITS) growth was now expected to be at a rate of 5% to 10%;
- TWE's Americas division reported a 17% decline in EBITS to $98.3m and an EBITS margin of 16.1%.
(together, the FY20 Downgrade).
On 14 February 2019, TWE released to the ASX a document entitled Interim 2019 Results, in which the company stated that an EBITS growth rate of approximately 15% to 20% was expected for FY20 (the EBITS Growth Representation).
On 15 August 2019, TWE released to the ASX a document entitled 2019 Annual Results Announcement, in which the company:
- repeated the EBITS Growth Representation;
- said that group FY20 EBITS result would be delivered by growth in all markets, through continued top line growth and premiumisation as well as ongoing operational efficiency.
(together, the FY20 Guidance)
On 16 October 2019, TWE released to the ASX a copy of the investor presentation and speaking notes from its Annual General Meeting, in which it reaffirmed the FY20 Guidance.
On 28 January 2020, TWE released the FY20 Downgrade.
The market’s reaction to the FY20 Downgrade was substantial, with the price of TWE shares falling by approximately 20% over the following trading days.
The proceeding alleges that TWE contravened its obligations of continuous disclosure and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, breaching relevant provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
The proceeding relates to TWE’s conduct between the period 14 February 2019 to 28 January 2020 (inclusive). Investors who purchased shares in Treasury during this period are group members in the proceeding.
The proceeding has been issued on an open class basis, and individuals who meet the group member definition who do not wish to participate in the proceeding are likely to be invited by the Court during the course of the proceeding to opt out of the action.
It is likely that the Court will require group members who wish to claim an entitlement to a share of any settlement sum or damages award to register their participation in the class action through a court ordered registration process.
Ordinarily, the Court will accept that group members who have entered into a retainer and become a client of the law firm representing the class by executing a legal cost agreement are automatically registered and are not required to complete any further steps during that process.
You can access the legal cost agreement for this proceeding below.
We confirm that you will not be exposed to any out of pocket costs as a result of your participation or registration in the claim.
We invite you to consider retaining Slater and Gordon by executing the legal costs agreement to secure any entitlement to a share of any resolution sum obtained in the event that the proceeding is successful.
By signing the agreement, you will not be required to take any further steps when the Court ordered registration process takes place and will be eligible to receive legal advice regarding your participation in the claim.
If you have any enquiries, please email TWE@slatergordon.com.au and include your contact details.