OZ Minerals Limited Background
On 24 August 2010, Slater and Gordon commenced a class action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on behalf of investors in Oxiana Limited (ASX Code – OXR) and its successor entity OZ Minerals Limited (ASX Code – OZL) alleging breaches by those companies of misleading and deceptive conduct legislation and continuous disclosure laws during the period from 29 February 2008 to 1 December 2008. The class action has now been transferred to the Federal Court of Australia. Relevantly, the claim includes the alleged failure by Oxiana and OZ Minerals to disclose the true debt position of OZ Minerals during the period set out above. In the proceedings the Applicant is seeking to obtain compensation and damages for the members who have suffered losses as a result of the alleged misconduct.
Slater and Gordon has engaged Litigation Lending Services Pty Ltd to fund the class action.
Eligible class members are those who :
- Acquired an interest in the shares of OZ Minerals during the period 23 July 2008 and 1 December 2008; and/or
- Acquired an interest in the shares of Oxiana during the period 29 February 2008 and 22 July 2008; and
- Suffered loss; and
- Are not involved in any other court proceedings against OZ Minerals including the proceedings titled Hobbs Anderson Investments Pty Ltd -v- OZ Minerals Ltd NSD 1127 of 2009 .
The current class does not include shareholders of Zinifex Limited and/or those who acquired Oxiana shares on 1 July 2008 by reason of the merger between Zinifex Limited and Oxiana.
On 3 March 2011, a mediation of the class action was held, conducted by former Federal Court judge, Mr Roger Gyles AO QC as mediator.
The mediation with OZ Minerals was ultimately unsuccessful.
A settlement for $21 million which includes $1.8 million set aside for legal costs was negotiated with OZ Minerals Ltd. The settlement and settlement distribution scheme was approved by the Court on 1 July 2011. The proceeding is now finalised
Chronology of key events regarding the OZ Minerals class action
Oxiana Ltd enters into refinancing agreement. US $560 million of non-current debt becomes current debt. No announcement made to the ASX.
Zinefex and Oxiana merger announced. Consolidated entity worth $12 billion.
Zinifex and Oxiana merge.
OZL officially launched following due diligence. OZL is reportedly the world’s second largest producer of zinc and a significant producer of copper with significant assets world-wide.
Weakening commodities prices result in the spot price of zinc falling to a third of what it was a year before. Similar falls in the price of copper.
Refinancing deadline extended to 30 November 2008.
OZ Minerals announces it is in negotiations to refinance a $US 560 million. Shares suspended at 55 cents.
Deadline for refinancing passes without conclusion.
OZ Minerals shares suspended from trading for one month after OZL requests an unprecedented two (2) month trading halt.
Key information regarding the OZ Minerals class action
Class period: 29 February 2008-1 December 2008
Shares traded during Class Period: 5.1 billion
52 week high - low: $4.01-0.48 cents
Market capitalization as at close of trade (1 December 2008): $1.717 billion
Nature of for price sensitive material non-disclosures under consideration:
- Non-disclosure of current liabilities;
- Non-disclosure of refinance risk; and
- Non-disclosure of insolvency risk