Class action experts to examine what Vocation knew and when

12 November 2014
After being contacted by dozens of affected shareholders, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Australia’s leading class action law firm, is investigating a shareholder class action regarding Vocation Limited’s (VET) share price collapse two weeks ago.

Maurice Blackburn, which has secured the nation’s seven largest class action settlements, all in excess of $100 million, has today launched an online registration page to streamline the process for affected shareholders wishing to recover some of their invested funds, in the wake of a share price dive that led to a market capitalisation loss for VET of $350 million.

Class actions Principal Jacob Varghese, who led the $115 million shareholder action against the NAB, said the investigation will scrutinise whether VET misled the market.

“Maurice Blackburn is investigating whether VET was frank with the market about the extent of the Victorian Government’s concerns with the company’s provision of tax-payer subsidised training courses. We are concerned with reports that the troubles with Victorian regulators dated back to before the IPO on 6 December 2013,” Mr Varghese said.

“Only in late August of this year did VET publicly acknowledge that some of its businesses and contracts were under review. At that time VET told the market that the review was not expected to have any material outcomes.”

“However, when the market learned the extent of regulator concerns, investors clearly took a very different view of the materiality of the information, driving the share price down 57 per cent in a single day.”

“If VET was, or ought to have been, aware of the regulatory reviews and concerns in relation to its subsidiaries at the time of its listing, and it failed to adequately disclose those matters, then investors who either subscribed to the IPO or subsequently purchased shares, may have paid an inflated price.”

“The class action would seek to recover the inflation paid by investors.”

Mr Varghese said that the class actions regime in Australia was specifically designed to provide a market response to issues such as these and that any class action would be complementary to possible action by company and training regulators.

“Because we have an effective class actions regime in Australia, investors of all sizes can have greater faith in how our markets function, as these actions send a strong message about the importance of following good corporate governance in shareholders’ interests,” he said.