Litigation funder IMF Australia yesterday announced it had issued a class action against OZ Minerals in the Federal Court of Australia, on behalf of IMF clients who purchased OZ shares between 21 August 2008 and the end of November 2008.
The company is alleging that OZ engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by not disclosing debt refinancing details, when it was formed by a merger between Oxiana and Zinifex in March last year.
IMF alleges that the company failed to properly disclose the refinancing agreement when it entered it three days before the merger was announced.
This would mark a breach of the continuous disclosure regulations in the Corporations Act.
IMF announced it intended to fund the class action in December last year, welcoming all shareholders who purchased OZ shares or swapped Zinifex shares for OZ shares to participate in the claim.
IMF executive director John Walker told MINING DAILY that the company had not been wasting its time since then.
“We have done a lot of work preceding the filing of the claim…so, we have actually commenced much quicker than what we initially thought,” he said.
“IMF is comfortable that the claim as merit.”
Walker did not reveal how many shareholders are involved, but said the number was in the hundreds.
“We have got more than a sufficient number to make the claim viable,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the adversarial civil justice system is not the quickest train in town, so I suppose it will be a couple of years before the matter is resolved.”
In a statement yesterday, OZ Minerals confirmed that the action had been lodged.
“No proceedings have been served on the company, but OZ Minerals, as it has previously stated, will vigorously defend the claim,” the company said.
IMF provides funding of legal claims and other related services where the claim size is over $2 million.