Surf-wear retailer Billabong International (ASX:BBG) has received a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of shareholders. The Federal Court of Australia said law firm Slater & Gordon filed the suit on Wednesday on the behalf of the Malone Family Superannuation Fund. The claim is seeking compensation for shareholders after Billabong allegedly mislead investors on earning guidance for the 2012 financial year. The Malone fund bought $30,000 worth of Billabong shares at $4.35 per share in November of 2011. Soon afterward, the shares fell following multiple earnings downgrades. Slater & Gordon said the fund “would either have bought Billabong securities at a price which had not been artificially inflated or they would have acquired securities in another listed entity instead” and that the earnings reports were filed with “conduct that was misleading or deceptive”.
In a statement to the ASX, Billabong said the company “wholly rejects and intends to vigorously defend the claim.” The troubled retailer was propped up by US private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management in a refinancing deal. Billabong said it had appointed a subcommittee to deal with the lawsuit and said the company will “remain absolutely focused on the ongoing turnaround of the company's operations globally.” Shares of Billabong have been struggling since reaching an all-time high of $12.00 per share in June 2007. BBG is down .8c, or 1.32 per cent, at 59.7c per share past mid-day on Thursday. Although BBG has been following a downward trend since April 2010, it has advanced 13.21 per cent in the last 12 months. However, BBG is down over 10 per cent so far this year.
Author: Simon Herrmann
Mar 26, 2015
Simon is a financial analyst at independent research firm Wise-owl specialised in small-mid cap growth opportunities and ethical investment opportunities. Simon's aim is to disrupt the cliché approach to investment decision making as he believes that socially and environmentally responsible behaviour is a necessity to long-term wealth creation. Simon has a deep fundamental understanding of the global financial landscape and has compiled 300+ research reports, valuations and corporate appraisals. Simon is commonly featured in major media outlets and his research is published weekly in The Australian.