Investment Recovery Cases

Porsche

Germany, November 2016

Porsche is a listed company holding the majority of Volkswagen AG’s (“VW”) ordinary shares (~52,2 %). As from 2009 VW sold around 11 million cars worldwide with the installation of so-called “defeat devices” aimed at manipulating emissions testing in clear violation of US (and other) environmental standards.  When the Notice of Violation issued by the United States Environment Protection Agency (“EPA”) against VW was published on September 18th, 2015 Porsche’s preferred share price dropped by more than 30%. The share price has not recovered yet. It is likely that a model proceeding in Germany will be launched before the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart to decide on the most relevant questions regarding Porsche’s liability. This model proceeding may open the way to harmed investors who at this stage (due to the unforeseeable legal situation) do not want to actively file claims against Porsche. As an alternative, investors may register their claims to secure their rights and eventually ­– under certain circumstances ­– participate in future settlement negotiations. Also, in case of a positive outcome of the model proceeding investors can then separately file a lawsuit against Porsche. In case such model proceeding is actually launched, Deminor proposes investors to jointly register their claims in order to protect their rights against Porsche. The deadline to register in this case is October 1st, 2017

Contact persons:

OW Bunker

Denmark, July 2015

Deminor invites investors to join a group action aimed at seeking a recovery of losses suffered on their investments in shares of OW Bunker.

On 7 November 2014, only 8 months after its IPO in March 2014, Danish fuel supplier OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy. Due to its failure, OW Bunker’s shareholders suffered a (near to) full loss on their investments. According to OW Bunker its demise was mainly caused by huge losses arising from a serious fraud at the level of its Singapore-based subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading and from severe problems with its internal “risk management”. Internal investigation performed by Deminor however resulted in the discovery of numerous irregularities surrounding OW Bunker’s IPO and the period after the IPO.

Deminor proposes impacted investors to defend their interests and to seek recovery for the losses they suffered on their investments in OW Bunker. Eligible Investors subscribed shares in the IPO and/or investors that purchased OW Bunker from opening of business on 20 March 2014 up until 7 November 2014 (until the bankruptcy order was announced). OW Bunker shares traded on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen A/S and have DK0060548386 as ISIN.

Interested investors are invited to contact Joeri Klein (joeri.klein@deminor.com) or Jean-Philippe Timmermans (jean-philippe.timmermans@deminor.com).

Toshiba Corporation

Japan, May 2015

Deminor is syndicating investors on Toshiba Corporation (Japan). Following a review carried out by an independent panel of investigators, Toshiba acknowledged on July 21st, 2015 that it artificially inflated its pre-tax profits by JPY 152 bn (USD 1.2 bn) over a period of seven years starting in 2008, which corresponds to approximately 25% of its reported profits during the same period. Since the first announcement made by the company in relation to its accounting practices in April 2015, the stock price lost more than a quarter of its value and has not materially recovered since. The independent committee found that the accounting fraud was part of a deliberate scheme – with the involvement of senior management all the way up to the CEO – set up to systematically over-inflate profits in order to hide the downfall of revenues caused by various business developments. Toshiba admitted the wrongdoing. Since it is established that 25% of reported profits were fictitious as from April 1st, 2008 (i.e. beginning of the 2008 fiscal year in Japan) until and including May 8th, 2015 (i.e. the last trading day preceding the announcement made by Toshiba after the market was closed that it found some accounting irregularities and that accounts may have to be restated) it can be concluded that investors who purchased shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange during this period were misled about the company’s fair value.

Should you have any questions, please contact Edouard Fremault (edouard.fremault@deminor.com).

Tesco

United Kingdom, March 2015

Deminor invites investors to join a group action aimed at seeking a recovery of losses suffered on purchases of ordinary shares of Tesco PLC. The action will be brought before the English courts. The action stems from Tesco’s admission that it overstated past profits due to an accelerated recognition of income and deferral of costs.  Investors having purchased shares of Tesco PLC and who have not sold all of those shares during the Relevant Period are eligible to join the action. The Relevant Period runs from April 17, 2013 to September 21, 2014 (both dates included). Interested investors are invited to contact Edouard Fremault (Edouard.Fremault@deminor.com) or Jean-Philippe Timmermans (Jean-Philippe.Timmermans@deminor.com).

Volkswagen AG

Germany, October 2015

On 16 September 2016 a group of investors advised and assisted by Deminor Recovery Services issued proceedings against Volkswagen AG with the Court of Braunschweig.

The action stems from Volkswagen’s admission on 20 September 2015 that it installed so-called ‘defeat devices’ in various car models sold in the United States as from 2009.  This was followed by another admission on 22 September 2015 that the same device had been installed in 11 million cars worldwide.

Official documents released by US authorities show that VW already knew about the investigations as from mid-2014 and that the company admitted to the breaches on 3 September 2015.  Yet VW informed the market only on 20 September 2015.

The investors seek compensation for losses suffered on their purchases of Volkswagen securities due to the company’s failure to timely and correctly inform them about the use of defeat devices in various car models and the final consequences thereof on the company’s earnings, outlook and financial situation.

Two lawsuits were filed, one on behalf of more than 200 investment funds, and another one on behalf of a group of private investors. The investors have collectively suffered losses worth of hundreds of millions of euros on purchases of Volkswagen securities. The amount of losses for which compensation is sought will be further determined in the course of the proceedings when more factual evidence is likely to become available and taking into account the court’s assessment of Volkswagen’s liability.

The investors have appointed Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Frankfurt Office) to advise them and represent them in court.

One of the proceedings issued by the Deminor group has already been consolidated with the model case proceeding (KapMuG) before the higher regional court of Braunschweig and the other proceeding is expected to follow shortly. Investors who missed Deminor’s ‎deadline and who are still interested in registering their claims with the model proceeding (KapMuG) to safeguard their rights are invited to contact us and register in the case by 25 August 2017 at the latest.

Contact persons:

Espirito Santo Group

Started August 2014 – Portugal

The Espirito Santo Group, founded by the Espirito Santo family, consists of a large number of companies that operate in various areas of the Portuguese economy, including financial services. One of these companies is Banco Espirito Santo (BES), one of Portugal’s largest banks by assets. In May 2014, BES raised €1 billion through a public offering of shares while minimizing risks related to its direct and indirect (through its clients) exposure to other companies of the Group and withholding information about such risks and its financial situation. On 10 July 2014, BES started disclosing information about its direct and indirect exposures to parent and affiliated companies. Some of these companies filed for creditor protection in the following days while others became subject to regulatory intervention. On 30 July 2014, BES reported a €3.5 billion net loss caused by €4.2 billion impairments, provisions and losses related to its exposure to the Group and other matters that had not been (properly) disclosed before. This led to the decision of Banco de Portugal of 3 August 2014 to split BES into a good bank and a bad bank. BES has been placed in liquidation. In the meantime, shares of BES have lost their entire value and trading has been suspended.

Deminor focused its investigation on the information disclosed by BES during the public offering in May 2014. In January 2015, Deminor’s clients filed a claim for damages based on prospectus liability before the Court of commerce in Lisbon.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date about this case and possible recovery opportunities or, in case you have any questions regarding an investment in securities issued by Banco Espirito Santo, Espirito Santo Financial Group, Espirito Santo International or any other company of the Espirito Santo Group, please contact: charles.demoulin@deminor.com or cecilia.faget@deminor.com.

Saipem

Started March, 2013 – Italy – ongoing

Saipem SpA is one of the largest oil-and-gas focused engineering and constructing companies worldwide, with shares listed on the Milan stock exchange. On 29 January 2013 Saipem suddenly and against previous updates cut its expected EBIT for 2013 by a massive 50%, mainly blaming lower than expected margins. This was followed by another profit warning on 14 June 2013. The stock price lost a cumulative 50% following those profit warnings.  Following an in-depth review of Saipem’s business and past financial performance and communication, Deminor believes that the company could not have discovered the reasons that led to the profit warning only in January and June 2013. Consob, the Italian stock market supervisor, initiated various investigations which have led to formal accusations and one definitive decision confirming that Saipem violated Italian and international accounting standards. Further decisions from Consob in pending proceedings are expected. Deminor advises a group of investors regarding their options for recovering the losses they suffered following the profit warnings and filed a legal action before the court of Milan in April 2015.

Please contact erik.bomans@deminor.comcecilia.faget@deminor.com or rosario.marcone@deminor.com for more information about this case.

Arco

Started November, 2012 – Belgium – ongoing

Deminor is in the process of syndicating members of the cooperative group Arco, following the destruction of the group’s shareholder equity due to the split of Dexia into Belfius and the remaining Dexia bad bank and the possible cancellation of the state guarantee granting capital protection to the cooperative shares.  Please click here to register on-line for the ARCO investment recovery case and receive information about the case through our secured web site www.mydeminor.com.

Vestas Wind Systems

Started 2011, Denmark, ongoing

Deminor has syndicated and advises a group of 87 institutional investors from various continents with the objective of seeking a recovery of losses stemming from misleading communication regarding the company’s revenues, order book, provision for warranty expense and application of accounting rules between October 27, 2009 and November 22, 2010. On August 16, 2013 a law suit was filed on behalf of these investors against Mr. Ditlev Engel, Mr. Henrik Norremark and Mr. Bent Erik Carlsen.

In addition, Deminor has filed a request pursuant to sections 150-152 of the Danish Company Act and article 4(6) of the company’s articles of associations with the aim of having an independent expert appointed to investigate certain accounting and disclosure issues. The request has been submitted to a shareholders’ vote at the annual general meeting held on March 21, 2013 but was rejected by the shareholder meeting. To download the request and supporting documents, click on the following link.

Madoff feeder funds

Luxalpha – Herald Lux – Lux Invest – Fairfield – Thybo International – Hermes – Plaza International – Thema International

Started 2009, Luxembourg / the Netherlands / Monaco, ongoing

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.
Deminor was also instructed by more than 4,000 investors in Madoff feeder funds to file their claim forms with the Madoff Victim Fund, set up by the American Department of Justice to compensate investors who suffered losses on Madoff related financial instruments.

Lernout & Hauspie

Started 2000, Belgium, ongoing

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.

Fondiaria

Settled, Italy, 2017

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. The investors’ claims had stemmed from the takeover of Fondiaria in 2002 by a consortium of bidders consisting of Mediobanca, SAI and Premafin. Following a long court battle up to the Court of Cassation, Deminor’s clients were able to recover a substantial part of damages claimed. Settlement terms have not been publicly disclosed.

Olympus

Settled, Japan, 2016

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. A group of more than 60 institutional investors federated by Deminor sought the reimbursement of damages for losses suffered following the revelation in 2011 of a decade-long fraudulent scheme at Olympus. The stock price lost more than half of its value following the announcement of accounting irregularities. Upon payment, this settlement represents the highest recovery thus far achieved by non-Japanese investors, relative to the amount of their claims, in any of the lawsuits settled so far by Olympus.

Fortis (now Ageas)

Settled (pending court approval), Belgium, 2016

Deminor reached a €1.2 billion settlement with Ageas SA/NV (formerly known as Fortis SA/NV) and other parties on 14 March 2016. This is the largest settlement of investors’ claims in Europe so far. Investors federated by Deminor were seeking damages for the losses suffered on their investments in Fortis shares in 2007 and 2008. The Court of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) still has to declare this settlement binding on all eligible shareholders.

Marionnaud

Court of appeal of Paris, France, 2015

Deminor obtained a judgement before the court of appeal of Paris for its clients who suffered losses as a result of misleading information. The court of appeal of Paris awarded damages between 50% and 80% of the loss.

Imtech

Settled, The Netherlands, 2015

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. The settlement is limited to the clients of Deminor. The parties have agreed not to disclose the details of the settlement. Please click hereto find the press release announcing the settlement.

Parmalat

Settled, Italy, 2014

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 . Settlement terms have not been disclosed publicly.

Fairfield

Settled, US, 2013

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. Settlement terms have not been disclosed publicly.

Sonova Holdings AG

Settled, Switzerland, 2012

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.  The recovery ratio was more than 65%.

Deutsche Bank / Lehman Brothers Treasury Co.

Settled, Belgium, 2012

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.  The recovery ratio amounted to 50%.

Parmalat / UBS-Deutsche Bank-Morgan Stanley

Settled, Italy, 2011

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.  The total recovery ratio was 10%.  Cases are still ongoing against other bank and auditor defendants before the Italian courts.

Citigroup / Lehman Brothers Treasury Co.

Settled, Belgium, 2011

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.  The recovery ratio was between 65% and 75% of the nominal investment.

CDOs / KBC Belgium

Settled, Belgium, 2009

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. The total combined investment was in the range of EUR 100 million. The case was settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount.

Converium

Settled, Switzerland / The Netherlands, 2008

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. The action also led to a European settlement which received final approval by the Court of Amsterdam in early 2012. The global settlement was for an amount of approximately USD 145 million.

Vanderhoop Bankiers

Settled, The Netherlands, 2007

Deminor defended a group of shareholders of the bank with the objective of recovering their losses following the bankruptcy of the bank. A satisfactory settlement was found at the end of 2007 for Deminor’s clients.

Banca Popolare di Milano

Settled, Italy, 2005

Deminor represented a group of institutional investors in BPM with the objective of changing the corporate governance structure of the bank. Following increasing interest in the share, some corporate governance changes and a change of management under pressure of Deminor’s clients, the stock market price increased by 400% over the period, significantly outperforming its peers.

Bank of International Settlements

Court award of damages, France / Switzerland, 2003

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.

Unipierre V

Settled, France, 2000

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.

CERA/KBC

Settled, Belgium, 1998

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

Banque Pallas Stern

Restructuring, France, 1997
Deminor advised a group of bondholders in the restructuring process of the bankrupt bank. The restructuring led to a recovery of 65%.

Wagons-Lits

Court decisions awarding damages, Belgium, 1993

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).