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Saturday 25 June 2022

A2 Milk faces NZ class action

18th May 2022 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

A2 Milk is facing another class action, this time in the New Zealand courts.

The company says it will “vigorously defend” the new legal proceedings in New Zealand.

A statement of claim has been filed in the Auckland High Court against the dairy company alleging breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and the Fair Trading Act.

The opt-in class action follows similar claims progressing through the Australian court system on behalf of shareholders, who bought into the $4.7bn speciality dairy company between August 2020 and May 2021, but suffered losses when its share price dropped around 70%.

The class action across the ditch alleged that the company engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in breach of Australia’s Corporations Act, and breached continuous disclosure rules in posting four earnings downgrades during this period.

The New Zealand claim is separate from the class action filed in Australia by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, but dual-listed A2 Milk said it related to earnings disclosures over the same period.

“The A2 Milk Company Limited has previously announced that group proceedings had been filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria by Slater & Gordon Lawyers on 6 October 2021 and by Shine Lawyers on 24 November 2021, which named the Company as the defendant,” it said in an NZX statement.

“Today the company has been notified that a representative proceeding has been filed in the High Court of New Zealand, which names the company as the defendant.

“The proceeding, filed by Thorn Law, and funded by CHC Investment Fund III Pty, relates to the same period (19 August 2020 to 9 May 2021) and makes allegations that are broadly similar to those advanced by the two class actions filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

A2 Milk said it believed it had at all times”complied with its disclosure obligations, denies any liability and will vigorously defend the proceedings”.

Early this month, Slater and Gordon and Shine Lawyers joined forces in their class action in Australia.

The Australian claim will be considered at a court hearing next Wednesday 25 May.



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