Court approved settlement of GPT Class Action
Background and settlement
GPT is one of Australia’s oldest and largest diversified real estate investment trusts.
On 7 July 2008, GPT released an ASX Announcement that downgraded its 2008 earnings guidance by 27%, and its distribution guidance by 30%. GPT’s security price fell dramatically in response.
Shareholders alleged that, on or about 27 February 2008, GPT was aware of price-sensitive information that it failed to disclose. On 8 December 2011, they commenced a class action alleging that GPT had engaged in misleading conduct and breached its continuous disclosure obligations.
Group members in the proceeding were persons who purchased GPT securities between 27 February and 6 July 2008, still held GPT securities as at 6 July 2008, and who suffered loss or damage as a result of the alleged contraventions.
On 2 May 2012, the Court ordered that group members who wished to participate and claim damages were required to register their claims with Slater and Gordon by 31 August 2012.
The trial ran from 6 March to 9 April 2013 before her Honour Justice Gordon.
On 8 May 2013, the parties settled the class action for $75 million before judgment was delivered. GPT maintained its denial of liability.
The Federal Court approved the settlement on 26 June 2013.