Investment Recovery Cases

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Danske Bank

Danske Bank A/S is the largest financial institution in Denmark with business operations in the entire Nordic region. Danske Bank is incorporated as a Danish company and its shares are listed on the Copenhagen stock exchange. Following the revelation that Danske Bank participated in the largest money laundering scheme in Europe in February 2018, the bank’s stock price declined by more than 40%.

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Pending

Steinhoff

Steinhoff is a South-Africa based retailer with more than 40 local retail brands in over 30 countries, including Mattress Firm in the U.S., Poundland in the U.K. and Conforama in France. Its shares are listed on the stock exchanges of Johannesburg, South-Africa and, since 2015, also in Frankfurt, Germany. Its share price dropped over 60% following several announcements starting on 4 December 2017, that Steinhoff was investigating accounting irregularities.

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Porsche

Porsche Holding SE (‘Porsche’) is a listed company with a majority stake (~52,2%) in Volkswagen AG’s (‘VW’) ordinary shares. Porsche’s preferred shares dropped by more than 30% in value when VW admitted it had installed defeat devices, which were designed to cheat emissions tests in certain car models. Porsche’s preferred shareholders may be entitled to compensation for their losses.

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OW Bunker

OW Bunker is a Danish marine fuel bunker company. On 20 March 2014, the company’s shares were introduced on the Copenhagen NASDAQ OMX exchange. On 7 November 2014, less than 8 months after its IPO, the company filed for insolvency, resulting in steep losses for its shareholders.

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Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Group, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. VW’s shares are primarily traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. On 20 September 2015 Volkswagen admitted that it had installed so-called ‘defeat devices’ to cheat emissions tests in various car models sold in the United States from 2009, a scandal also dubbed ‘Dieselgate’. This was followed by another admission on 22 September 2015 that the same device had been installed in 11 million cars worldwide. In the two days following these revelations the stock price fell by almost 30%.

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Toshiba Corporation

Toshiba Corporation is a Japanese conglomerate, which is active in multiple business sectors ranging from the manufacture of electronic devices to the construction of nuclear infrastructure. Its shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Toshiba acknowledged on 21 July 2015 that it had artificially inflated its pre-tax profits by JPY 152 billion (USD 1.2 billion) over a period of seven years. This period started in 2008, when Toshiba inflated its pre-tax profits by a value which corresponds to approximately 25% of its total reported profits. Following this announcement, the stock price lost more than a quarter of its value.

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Espirito Santo Group

The Espirito Santo Group, founded by the Espirito Santo family, is a Portugese holding company with a large number of companies that operate in various areas of the Portuguese economy. One of these businesses, the bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES) raised EUR 1 billion through a public offering in May 2014. A few months later, on 30 July 2014, BES reported a EUR 3.5 billion net loss. This led to Banco de Portugal’s decision of 3 August 2014 to split BES into a good bank and a bad bank to save the healthy assets and isolate any toxic assets. BES shares have lost their entire value and trading in BES shares has now been suspended.

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Saipem

Saipem SpA is one of the largest engineering and construction companies with operations in the oil and gas sector worldwide. Its shares are listed on the Milan stock exchange. On 29 January 2013, suddenly and in a massive revision of its previous updates, Saipem cut its expected 2013 EBIT by a hefty 50%, mainly blaming margins on pending contracts that were below expectations. This was followed by a second profit warning on 14 June 2013, cutting the expected EBIT down further to zero. The stock price lost a cumulative 50% following those two profit warnings.

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Arco

ARCO Group is a cooperative holding company whose main asset consists of a stake in the Franco-Belgian financial services group Dexia. In 2011 Dexia bank was split into a good and a bad bank to save the healthy assets and isolate any toxic assets, which resulted in a quasi-total loss of the value of Dexia shares. Consequently, ARCO was put into voluntary liquidation, which led to a suspension in the redemption of ARCO’s cooperative shares. ARCO’s liquidation will lead to a total loss of investments for ARCO Group’s cooperative shareholders.

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Vestas Wind Systems

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (“Vestas”) is a company based in Denmark, which manufactures sells, installs and maintains wind turbines. Its shares are listed on the Copenhagen NASDAQ OMX. On 18 August 2010 Vestas issued its first profit warning, followed by several others, causing a significant fall in its stock price. Furthermore, on 26 October 2010, Vestas announced that it would change its accounting practices for certain contracts.

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Madoff feeder funds

Deminor has syndicated and advises a group of around 2,500 investors who invested, either directly or through financial intermediaries, in various funds with Madoff exposure (the so-called Madoff feeder funds). Their combined aggregate loss is in the range of EUR 300 million. Court cases have been filed in various jurisdictions in order to recover losses from the investments managers, auditors and depositaries of the funds having invested with Madoff.

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Lernout & Hauspie

Deminor advises more than 13,000 private investors who have suffered losses following the disclosure of accounting fraud and the ensuing bankruptcy of Lernout en Hauspie. The criminal proceedings led to the conviction of certain managers and the auditor of the company. Civil proceedings are still ongoing against various defendants, including the auditor KPMG.

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Settled

Zhaopin

Deminor advised shareholders of Zhaopin, the operator of the leading online recruitment platform in the People’s Republic of China, in connection with a merger proposed by its controlling shareholder SEEK International Investments Pty Ltd. Zhaopin has its operational headquarters in Beijing, China. The company’s shares were listed as American Depositary Shares in New York, and its registered office is in the Cayman Islands.

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Herald Lux

Deminor advised and represented more than 800 investors in the Luxembourg-based investment fund Herald Lux SICAV, which went into liquidation after the New York broker Bernard Madoff admitted that he had operated a large-scale Ponzi scheme.

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Madoff Victim Fund

Deminor filed claims with the Madoff Victim Fund for more than 4,000 investors. These investors had collectively suffered more than USD 200m of losses in connection with the Ponzi scheme run by the New York-based broker Bernard Madoff. The Madoff Victim Fund was set up by the U.S. Department of Justice to indemnify the victims of the Madoff fraud.

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Fondiaria

A group of former minority institutional and private shareholders of La Fondiaria Assicurazioni (“Fondiaria”), advised and assisted by Deminor, reached a settlement with UnipolSai and Mediobanca.

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Olympus

Clients of Deminor reached an in-court settlement before the Tokyo District Court on December 26th 2016 on the Olympus case, where they will recover 45% of their recoverable losses for which they claimed compensation in the lawsuit.

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Fortis (now Ageas)

On 12 December 2017, after months of negotiations, Deminor, Ageas SA/NV (‘Ageas’, formerly known as Fortis SA/NV) and other claimant groups entered into an Amended Settlement Agreement for the benefit of Fortis investors. Under the terms of the Amended Settlement Agreement, the total settlement amount was increased by a further €100 million bringing it to a total of €1.3 billion. The initial €1.2 billion settlement reached on 14 March 2016 (the “2016 Settlement”), which meant that at the time Ageas SA/NV already was the largest investor claims settlement in Europe at the time.

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Marionnaud

Deminor obtained a judgement before the court of appeal of Paris for its clients who suffered losses as a result of misleading information.

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Imtech

Deminor reached a settlement with Royal Imtech N.V. Deminor represented a group of investors who had suffered losses on their Imtech investments due to the events announced in Imtech’s press release of 4 February 2013 and Imtech’s subsequent press releases.

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Parmalat Auditors

In connection with the Parmalat fraud, Deminor reached a settlement with one defendant on behalf of a group of approximately 4,000 retail investors and 20 institutional investors.

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Fairfield Greenwich

Deminor reached an opt-out settlement on behalf of a group of investors in an investment fund with Madoff exposure managed by the Fairfield Greenwich group.

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Sonova Holdings AG

Deminor reached a settlement on behalf of a group of approximately 30 institutional investors with Sonova Holdings AG (Switzerland, Zürich) in connection with the company’s late profit warning.

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Deutsche Bank / Lehman Brothers Treasury Co.

Deminor reached a settlement on behalf of a group of around 300 private investors who had purchased bonds issued by Lehman Brothers Treasury Co. through the intermediation of Deutsche Bank Belgium.

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Parmalat / UBS-Deutsche Bank-Morgan Stanley

Deminor reached a partial settlement on behalf of a group of approximately 4,000 investors with UBS, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley in connection with the Parmalat case.

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Citigroup / Lehman Brothers Treasury Co.

Deminor syndicated and advised a group of approximately 800 private investors who had bought bonds issued by Lehman Brothers Treasury Co. through the intermediation of Citibank Belgium.

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CDOs / KBC Belgium

Deminor syndicated and advised a group of around 50 HNW investors who had invested in synthetic CDOs originated and promoted by the Belgian bank KBC.

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Converium

One of Deminor’s clients was appointed as lead plaintiff in the US class action, where a settlement was negotiated in 2008 for US purchasers. Deminor acted as liaison counsel in the case.

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Vanderhoop Bankiers

Deminor defended a group of shareholders of the bank with the objective of recovering their losses following the bankruptcy of the bank.

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Banca Popolare di Milano

Deminor represented a group of institutional investors in BPM with the objective of changing the corporate governance structure of the bank.

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Bank of International Settlements

Deminor represented a group of minority shareholders in the framework of the compulsory buy-out of minority shareholders and achieved a 50% increase of the bid price, representing a total amount of CHF 600 million.

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Unipierre V

Negotiation of a settlement for a group of private shareholders of mutual funds invested in real estate managed by Crédit Agricole (resulting in a payment of EUR 10 million to real estate mutual funds by Crédit Agricole.

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CERA/KBC

Deminor reached a settlement for a group of former cooperative shareholders of CERA bank in connection with the merger of CERA with KBC.

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Banque Pallas Stern

Deminor advised a group of bondholders in the restructuring process of the bankrupt bank.

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Wagons-Lits

A successful negotiation for a group of retail and institutional shareholders of better conditions in the framework of a takeover by the French group Accor (50 % gain).

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