SYDNEY — Australian surfwear manufacturer Billabong International Ltd. said Monday it has agreed to pay a group of shareholders 45 million Australian dollars, or $34 million at current exchange, to settle legal claims that the company had misled investors.
A group of shareholders who acquired ordinary shares or American Depository Receipts in Billabong between Feb. 18, 2011, and Dec. 19, 2011, filed the claim in March 2015. Over the course of 2011, Billabong’s share price tumbled from 8.51 to 1.70 Australian dollars.
A Melbourne-based retail investor and trustee of the Malone Family Superannuation Fund, Newstart 123 Pty Ltd., saw the value of its 30 million Australian dollar Billabong investment slashed by more than 50 percent in just over a month in 2011.
The company alleged that over the course of the nominated period Billabong engaged in deceptive and misleading conduct and failed to abide by its continuous disclosure obligations and ASX listing rules, according to Federal Court documents.
Billabong’s shares last traded at 1.32 Australian dollars, or $1.00.
“The settlement is without any admission of liability by Billabong and is subject to Court approval,” said Billabong company secretary Tracey Wood in Monday’s ASX statement.
“Any financial impact of this agreement on the company was not material and has already been paid and provided in previous financial reports. Therefore there is no impact on Billabong’s immediate or future cash flows or earnings reports as a result of this settlement,” Billabong said.