BILLABONG TO PAY $45 MILLION TO SETTLE ACTION

BILLABONG TO PAY $45 MILLION TO SETTLE ACTION
BILLABONG (ASX: BBG) is up for $45 million to settle the claims of a class action led by Slater and Gordon.

The Melbourne-based law firm acted on behalf of approximately 730 institutional and retail investors who acquired Billabong securities between 18 February 2011 and 19 December 2011.

Accusations allege misleading and deceptive conduct over a series of earnings updates.

The class action started in 2015 and the proposed settlement has just been reached ahead of a seven-week trial, which was scheduled to commence in March 2017.

Slater and Gordon class action lawyer Odette McDonald says the proposed settlement, which is inclusive of Billabong's legal costs, is an 'excellent outcome'.

"This is an excellent outcome for group members and, based on our assessment of their losses, investors will receive a strong return if the settlement is approved," says McDonald.

"Slater and Gordon's class action was supported by a large group of current and former shareholders, ranging from small retail investors to prominent institutional investors."

The lead plaintiff in the class action was Newstart 123 Pty Ltd, trustee for the Malone Family Superannuation Fund, whose $30 million investment was slashed in value by more than 50 per cent.

The proceedings were funded by litigation funder Comprehensive Legal Funding (CLF). CLF has a strong track record of funding major successful class actions including cases against Newcrest Mining, GPT, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Nufarm, Centro and Opes Prime.

The proposed settlement will be put before the Federal Court for approval and class members will receive details of the proposed settlement shortly.

Billabong makes no admission of liability under the terms of the settlement agreement.

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