LPF-Funded $750M Shareholder Class Action Launched Against New Zealand Insurer CBL
John Freund - Litigation Finance Journal: 4 November 2019
LPF Group is funding a $750MM class action against collapsed New Zealand Insurer CBL, alleging the company directors breached their continuous disclosure obligations, made misleading statements during the IPO, and engaged in insider trading.
As reported in Stuff, CBL collapsed in 2018, and now major shareholders, led by investment firm Harbour and Argo Investments Limited, are seeking redress for their financial losses.
The company failure was one of the largest at the time in New Zealand corporate history.
The claim alleges that the IPO statements were misleading, as they gave the impression that the company had enough in reserves to cover its insurance obligations. The claim also states that company executives failed to properly disclose key financial information post-IPO, and that directors Peter Harris and Alistair Hutchinson sold shares in CBL through companies they controlled, using information not privy to the general public.
The now-defunct insurer, which did most of its business in Europe and specialized in new home renovation insurance, cost shareholders hundreds of millions when it went belly-up.
Questions are also being asked about the industry regulator, the Reserve Bank, which had suspicions about CBL in 2013, but did not actively pursue an investigation until 2017 due to a lack of resources.
CBL’s directors are defending themselves against the allegations, and deny any wrongdoing whatsoever.
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