Treasury Wine Estates class action

Maurice Blackburn, on behalf of our client Steven Napier, has filed a class action in the Supreme Court of Victoria against listed company Treasury Wine Estates Limited (Treasury; ASX:TWE) for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct and breaching its continuous disclosure obligations in the period from 30 June 2018 to 28 January 2020.

The class action centres on Treasury’s declining performance in its Americas wine business since at least mid 2018. It follows Treasury’s ASX announcement on 28 January 2020 in which Treasury downgraded its FY20 EBITS growth forecast from an anticipated rate of 15% to 20% to 5% to 10%.

There was a significant market reaction to this announcement. Over the following two days, Treasury’s share price dropped by approximately 20% in total, with a drop of 25% on 29 January 2020 alone.

Class members are requested to note that, following Maurice Blackburn’s investigation, the claim period for the filed case has been extended. It commences at 30 June 2018, not 14 February 2019 as previously indicated, and concludes on 28 January 2020.

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Case updates

Class action filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria on 1 May 2020

Key dates

Register to participate in the class action

Am I eligible to join the Treasury Wine Estates class action?

You are eligible to register for the class action if you purchased shares in Treasury in the period from 30 June 2018 to 28 January 2020.

Click here to begin the registration process.

If you have any questions you may email treasuryclassaction@mauriceblackburn.com.au or call 1800 519 720.

Class members are requested to note that, following Maurice Blackburn’s investigation, the claim period for the filed case has been extended. It commences at 30 June 2018, not 14 February 2019 as previously indicated, and concludes on 28 January 2020. Class members who registered with Maurice Blackburn and provided trade data for the previously anticipated claim period commencing 14 February 2019 will be contacted directly by Maurice Blackburn so that trade data for the extended period can be provided.

Class Action against Treasury Wine Estates

The claim alleges that Treasury breached its continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

On 28 January 2020 Treasury downgraded its FY20 EBITS growth forecast from an anticipated rate of 15% to 20% (first announced on 14 February 2019 and reiterated on numerous occasions) to 5% to 10%.  

There was a significant market reaction to this announcement. Over the following two days, Treasury’s share price dropped by approximately 20% in total, with a drop of 25% on 29 January 2020 alone.

The class action alleges that Treasury breached its market disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

In particular, the class action alleges that from at least 30 June 2018 to 28 January 2020, Treasury’s US performance was in decline and Treasury failed to disclose this or to correct representations to the effect that the performance of the Americas division would strengthen and contribute to accelerated earnings growth.

Additionally, the class action alleges that from 14 February 2019 to 28 January 2020, TWE’s FY20 earnings growth forecast of 15% to 20% was made without a reasonable basis and it failed to disclose this or to inform the market that this forecast was not achievable.

Claim period

Persons who acquired shares in the period from 30 June 2018 to 28 January 2020 are eligible to register for the claim below.

Consolidation of two class actions against Treasury Wine Estates

A second class action was filed against Treasury by Slater & Gordon on behalf of lead plaintiff Brett Stallard in respect of substantially similar legal and factual subject matter as Mr Napier’s class action.

On 15 October 2020, the Court consolidated the two class actions into a single proceeding  with the effect that:

  • Mr Napier and Mr Stallard are now the joint representative plaintiffs (the Representative Plaintiffs) in the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action; and
  • Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon (the Lawyers) are jointly named as solicitors on the record for the Representative Plaintiffs in the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action and will work together to jointly conduct the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action.

Costs

The class action is being conducted as an open class action on a No Win No Fee basis.  Signing up to the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action will not expose you to any upfront costs. All costs in the proceeding will be borne by the Lawyers unless and until there is a successful outcome. In the event of a successful outcome, any costs payable by the Lawyers will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive. All such costs are required to be considered and approved by the Court.

No funding commission will be payable to a third party litigation funder as there is no third party litigation funder involved in the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has power to make a group costs order in relation to these proceedings. The Representative Plaintiffs may at a future time apply to the Court for such an order. A group costs order is an order of the Court in which the legal costs payable to the law practices representing the Representative Plaintiffs and the class are calculated as a percentage of the amount of any award or settlement and the liability is shared among the Representative Plaintiffs and all class members. The percentage is determined by the Court.

Previous $49m class action by Maurice Blackburn against Treasury was settled in 2017

This is not the first time that Maurice Blackburn has taken action to assist Treasury shareholders to obtain compensation for Treasury’s alleged breaches of market disclosure laws.

This current claim follows on from Maurice Blackburn’s earlier shareholder class action against Treasury that was successfully resolved in 2017, with a settlement of $49m in favour of class members.

Like the current claim, the previous Treasury class action concerned problems in Treasury’s Americas business. In particular, that case related to Treasury’s announcement in July 2013 of provisions to address excess inventory, including destruction of 18 million bottles of aged commercial wine held by Treasury’s distributors in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maurice Blackburn is Australia's leading class actions law firm with an unparalleled record of helping our clients secure the nation’s largest class action recoveries, totalling over $3 billion since 1998. Maurice Blackburn is the only Australian firm to have recovered in excess of $100 million in shareholder class actions, a feat we have achieved on seven occasions.

Signing up to the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action will not expose you to any upfront costs. All costs in the proceeding will be borne by the Lawyers unless and until there is a successful outcome. In the event of a successful outcome, any costs payable by the Lawyers will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive. All such costs are required to be considered and approved by the Court.

No funding commission will be payable to a third party litigation funder as there is no third party litigation funder involved in the Treasury Wine Estates Class Action.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has power to make a group costs order in relation to these proceeding. The Representative Plaintiffs may at a future time apply to the Court for such an order. A group costs order is an order of the Court in which the legal costs payable to the Lawyers representing the Representative Plaintiffs and the class are calculated as a percentage of the amount of any award or settlement and the liability is shared among the Representative Plaintiffs and all class members. The percentage is determined by the Court

Nothing.

As a member of the class (and not the Representative Plaintiff, in whose name the case has been brought), an adverse costs order may not be made directly against you in respect of the determination of the common issues in the class action. Unless and until there is a successful outcome, all costs will be borne by the Lawyers.

Where seven or more people have claims that arise out of similar circumstances, a class action can be brought by one plaintiff on their own behalf and as a representative of others.

The class action process saves time and expense by avoiding the need for the courts to determine common issues of fact or law more than once. Class actions are efficient, enabling disputes and claims involving large numbers of people to be resolved via a single case.

You are eligible to register for the class action if you purchased shares in Treasury in the period from 30 June 2018 to 28 January 2020.

To begin the registration process,  please click here.

We invite you to retain Maurice Blackburn as your solicitors for the class action. The Retainer and Costs Agreement is available via the registration process below.  By retaining Maurice Blackburn we will be able to provide you with legal advice concerning the proceeding.

 

 

During the online registration process, we will ask you for the following details

  • an email address, which you check regularly;
  • the claimant’s Holder Identifier Number (HIN) or relevant Security Holder Reference Number (SRN), if you know it;
  • information on your shareholdings: 
    • if the claimant’s shares are held on his, her or its behalf by another person or entity (such as a broker or custodian), details of both those persons or entities and the capacities in which they held those shares;
    • if the claimant holds the shares jointly with another person, that other person’s name;
    • if the claimant has multiple holdings of shares, separate transaction details for each holding;
    • the number of Treasury (TWE) securities that the claimant held at the open of trading on 30 June 2018 (10AM AEDT);
    • the date, quantity and price of the claimant’s TWE securities purchases and sales from the commencement of trading on 30 June 2018 to the present.
    • Institutional investors are not required to provide details of holdings and share transactions. We will contact you to obtain that information.

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