Leighton class action launched on behalf of more than 2000 shareholders

30 October 2013
After in-depth investigations into the trading and business activities of ASX listed construction giant Leighton Holdings Ltd, Maurice Blackburn has today filed a class action against the company in the NSW registry of the Federal Court.

The action has been launched as an open class on behalf of all Leighton shareholders who purchased shares in the company between 16 August 2010 and 11 April 2011.

It alleges that Leighton failed to disclose to the market material information about the deteriorating performance of its Brisbane Airport Link, and Victorian Desalination Plant projects as well as the Habtoor Leighton Group joint venture in the Middle East.

Class action Principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Rebecca Gilsenan, says the firm has undertaken significant investigations in order to build a strong case before filing the class action today.

We already represent more than 2000 shareholders who have a strong basis for claiming that they purchased shares at inflated prices because of Leighton's failure to provide proper disclosure during the claim period, " Ms Gilsenan said

"The class action will seek to recover compensation for shareholders who purchased shares at inflated prices due to alleged non-disclosure and misleading and deceptive conduct by Leighton during the period 16 August 2010 and 11 April 2011."

Ms Gilsenan said ongoing settlement discussions would continue between the parties with a view to reaching a resolution for affected shareholders.

Corruption claims

In addition to the profit write-downs claim filed today, Maurice Blackburn also has instructions to investigate a claim against Leighton for losses suffered as a result of the company not disclosing to the market information about corrupt activities on the part of some of its officers.

This information was revealed in a series of media reports earlier this month and caused a further material price reaction in Leighton shares.

Any person who bought shares between 23 March 2010 and 2 October 2013 should contact Maurice Blackburn if they are interested in receiving updates about this investigation.

Background

On Monday 11 April 2011, Leighton announced a projected $427 million full year loss for the 2011 financial year (FY11) driven by more than $1.1 billion in write-downs relating to the Brisbane Airport Link project, the Victorian Desalination Plant project and a Dubai based joint venture, the Al Habtoor Leighton Group.

The 11 April 2011 announcement signalled the worst annual loss in the company's history.

Only two months earlier, on 14 February 2011, Leighton had forecast a FY11 full year net profit after tax (NPAT) of $480 million. Therefore, the result announced on 11 April 2011 was $907 million less than what was forecast two months earlier. On the first trading day after the 11 April 2011 profit write-down, Leighton's share price fell by about 13.9%.

In addition to the claim filed today, Maurice Blackburn has instructions to investigate a claim against Leighton for losses suffered as a result of the company withholding from the market information about corruption on the part of some of its officers. This information was revealed in a series of media reports earlier this month and caused a further material price reaction in Leighton shares.

Any person who bought shares between 23 March 2010 and 2 October 2013 should contact Maurice Blackburn if they are interested in receiving updates about this investigation.

Leighton share price - August 2010 to May 2011

 

Leighton Share Price Graph