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The Federal Court of Australia has today approved a class action settlement on behalf of more than 7,500 individual participants who purchased shares in the minerals resources company, Oz Minerals, in 2008.

The class action was conducted by national law firm Slater and Gordon with the support of Litigation Lending Services.

The predominantly ‘mum and dad’ retail investors who purchased shares in the company between February and December 2008 will share in at least $16 million in compensation, following the deduction of legal and funding costs.

Approximately 80 per cent of class members who claimed a loss are expected to receive between $100 and $5,000 depending on when they bought shares and how many they purchased.

Ken Fowlie, Practice Group Leader, Sydney Commercial and Project Litigation, said investors were pleased the case had been finalised.

“With this settlement today, we see a great example of how a class action can resolve major legal cases quickly and cheaply on behalf of small investors with limited resources,” Mr Fowlie said.

“The settlement also represents the first settlement of a shareholder class action where multiple shareholder actions were issued, demonstrating that multiplicity of actions is no barrier to resolving such claims efficiently.”

A deed of settlement with Oz Minerals was executed on May 10, 2011. It is part of a broader agreement reached by Oz Minerals to resolve two class actions brought against it.

Oz Minerals has not admitted liability.

The case was supported by one of Australia’s leading litigation funding companies, Litigation Lending Services. Michelle Silvers, Managing Director of Litigation Lending Services, said this was a great result for small retail investors.

“This result would not have been possible without the backing of a litigation funder,” Ms Silvers said.

“Class actions supported by litigation funders are an affordable, effective and transparent way of securing compensation for small investors,” Ms Silvers said.