On 28 April 2015 a group of 64 institutional investors filed a law suit against Saipem S.p.A. with the aim of seeking compensation for losses suffered on purchases of the company’s shares. The law suit has been filed with the Court of Milan (“Tribunale di Milano”).
The losses materialized when Saipem informed the market on 29 January and 14 June 2013 that its 2013 Ebit would be significantly lower than expected. The totally unexpected disclosures led to an aggregate share price drop of more than 60%. The investors are claiming damages from the company for a total aggregate amount of € 174.2 million.
The investors are advised by Deminor and by Prof. Avv. Paolo Giudici and Prof. Avv. Francesco Munari, both partners of the law firm Munari Giudici Maniglio Panfili e Associati, who will represent the investors in court.
The claims stem from Saipem’s alleged failure to correctly inform investors about its revenues and costs on pending contracts between 13 February 2012 and 14 June 2013 (the “Relevant Period”). The investors state that the misinformation led to a significant overstatement of profits and hence to an artificially inflated share price during the Relevant Period. It is furthermore alleged in the law suit that the disclosures of 29 January and 14 June 2013 were disguised as profit warnings allegedly caused by unexpected new circumstances, whereas they were in reality corrections of the overstatements of profits made during the Relevant Period.
In 2014 Italy’s financial markets supervisory authority Consob sanctioned Saipem in various distinct proceedings. Saipem was sanctioned for having issued its profit warning of 29 January 2013 too late and for its failure to correctly update the register of persons having inside information. Consob furthermore ruled that Saipem breached International Accounting Standards in relation to its 2012 annual financial statements.
The investors’ advisors sought a dialogue with Saipem before filing the law suit, but such invitation was left without any response. The issuing of proceedings had therefore become unavoidable.
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Written on Apr 29, 2015 by