Slater and Gordon is preparing a class action on behalf of investors who acquired shares in engineering company UGL Ltd (UGL) during the period 8 August 2014 to 5 November 2014 (inclusive).
The proposed class action will be against UGL and will receive litigation funding from IMF Bentham, subject to sufficient interest from affected investors.
On 30 April 2012, UGL announced to the market that, through a 50/50 joint venture with GH2M Hill, it was part of a consortium that had been awarded a contract worth over $900 million for the construction of a Combined Cycle Power Plant for the Ichthys LNG Project.
On 9 May 2014, UGL’s joint venture partner (CH2M Hill) filed a negative report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended 31 March 2014, which disclosed that a ‘power project, located in our Asia Pacific region’ was running behind schedule and was subject to increased project costs. No similar announcement was made by UGL on the ASX in relation to the Ichthys project.
On 8 August 2014, UGL’s joint venture partner CH2M Hill filed a report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended 30 June 2014 which announced to the market that the margin on the Ichthys Project was at best zero and gave a strong indication that loss on the project was likely.
UGL did not make any reference to the matters referred to in the CH2M announcement in the months following the filing. This period included the full year results announcement for the 2014 financial year on 25 August 2015 and the company’s annual general meeting on 30 October 2014.
On 6 November 2014, UGL announced to the market that the forecast costs of the Ichthys project had increased and a provision of USD$170m would be immediately recognised. The market response to this announcement was severe. By close on 11 November 2014, the price of UGL securities had fallen greater than 25 per cent from the trading price prior to the announcement.
Slater and Gordon have been contacted by a number of aggrieved investors in UGL in the interim period.
“The proposed class action will allege that UGL withheld relevant information material to the company’s share price from the market,” said Tim Finney, a Principal Lawyer in the firm’s Commercial and Commercial and Project Litigation department.
“Having investigated the claim, it is our opinion that there are reasonable grounds to allege that UGL engaged in misleading conduct and breaches of their continuous disclosure obligations and that, as a result, any investors who purchased UGL securities in the relevant period may have suffered compensable loss” Mr Finney said.
All current and former shareholders who acquired an interest in UGL during the period 8 August 2014 to 5 November 2014 (inclusive) are invited to register their interest in the proposed class action.
Investors who wish to register their interest may obtain an information pack by visiting the website of IMF Bentham Limited at http://www.imf.com.au/cases/register/ugl-limited-overview.
If you are a UGL investor who acquired shares in UGL during the relevant period and would like to discuss our investigation with us, please telephone 1800 555 777 or send us an online enquiry using the form below.