VOCUS MAY FACE LARGE CLASS ACTION FROM SHAREHOLDERS

VOCUS MAY FACE LARGE CLASS ACTION FROM SHAREHOLDERS

LAW firm Slater & Gordon (ASX: SGH) is investigating a class action claim against telecommunications provider Vocus Group Limited (ASX: VOC).

The claim, backed by litigation funder Investor Claim Partner, alleges that Vocus had no reasonable grounds for its original 2017 financial guidance, issued in November 2016 which was downgraded the following May. It also is alleged that Vocus failed to disclose that it would not achieve the guidance.

As a result, Slater & Gordon claims that Vocus shares traded at prices significantly above their value during the period.

The law firm says the claim will be brought on behalf of potentially thousands of mum-and-dad and institutional shareholders who bought Vocus shares between November 29, 2016, and May 2, 2017.

Shares in Vocus, which owns the mass market brands Dodo, iPrimus and Commander, have remained stable following the announcement at $2.41 per share.

Slater & Gordon claims Vocus had unreasonable expectations about the costs involved in integrating its newly acquired platforms and systems such as Amcom and Nextgen Networks, as well as merging with M2 Group.

Principal lawyer Mathew Chuk from Slater & Gordon alleges the telco acted dishonestly and in a misleading manner.

"When Vocus issued its FY17 guidance, it stated that it expected to gain efficiencies by bringing these businesses together, but we allege this was done without proper visibility of profitability," says Chuk.

In late August, Vocus chairman, David Spence, stepped down following the company's full year results which reported a loss of nearly $1.5 billion. The company chalked up the mammoth loss to write downs on goodwill for some of its recent acquisitions.

Slater & Gordon have also recently been facing its own share of class action law suits, and recently settled one brought against it by angry shareholders for $36.5 million.

Just this week the company announced it is cutting around seven per cent of its workforce with aims to reduce costs and make structural changes in the wake of their own legal dramas.

Slater & Gordon's share price remains steady at around 10.30am at $0.07.

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