The opt-in class action is seeking compensation for A2 Milk shareholders, who allegedly suffered losses when the company’s shares fell between August 2020 and May last year.
A2 Milk is also facing two class action suits in Australia, which were filed in October and in November last year.
The New Zealand class action, filed today, is being led by Philip Skelton QC and solicitors Thorn Law, funded by Court House Capital.
It is alleging breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and the Fair Trading Act.
“In summary, the legal action alleges that as a result of A2 Milk issuing misleading guidance and failing to amend or withdraw that guidance in a timely manner, shareholders were not given accurate information about the company’s ability to meet its revenue and margin forecasts,” Skelton said.
“The action claims that because of the inaccurate information given to the market, investors were unable to make informed decisions as to whether to buy, sell or retain A2 Milk shares; many investors lost substantial sums as a result of acting on that misleading information.”
Skelton said the case highlighted the “pivotal role a company has in managing shareholder expectations” regarding its ability to realistically achieve its financial projections.
“Unless material information is disclosed and forecasts amended to reflect updated assessments, it is reasonable for shareholders, especially those who have invested in a publicly listed company like A2 Milk, to assume that existing forecasts remain valid,” he said.
A2 Milk told the sharemarket it would defend the class action.
“The company considers that it has at all times complied with its disclosure obligations, denies any liability and will vigourously defend the proceedings.”