Spotless class action filed in Federal Court

A class action has been filed against Spotless over allegations it mislead investors about its 2015 financial results.

A class action has been filed against Spotless following allegations the service group mislead investors about its 2015 financial results.

IMF Bentham and William Roberts Lawyers announced on Friday proceedings had been filed in the Federal Court of Australia against Spotless Group Holdings Ltd.

The statement of claim alleges that Spotless’ financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2015, released on 25 August 2015, were misleading and in breach of Spotless’ continuous disclosure obligations.

The claim is brought on behalf of all persons who acquired Spotless shares between 25 August 2015 and 2 December 2015 (excluding related parties, bodies corporate, associated entities and officers or close associates of Spotless).

William Roberts Lawyers, principal, Bill Petrovski, said: “This case alleges that by breaching its continuous disclosure obligations, Spotless concealed its true financial position. It appears that Spotless changed an accounting policy that effectively inflated its earnings without adequate disclosure of that change. Such conduct, if proven, is inimical to the company disclosure laws in place to foster investor confidence in our financial markets”.

IMF investment manager Ewen McNee said: “Spotless shareholders who acquired shares in the period from 25 August 2015 to 2 December 2015 and held those shares when the Spotless share price fell on 2 December 2015 are included in the claim. Because this case is being run on an open class basis, it will give all these shareholders the chance of recovering losses caused by Spotless’ alleged breaches of the Corporations Act”.

Spotless “strongly denies these allegations”.

“Spotless will vigorously defend the proceedings,” the company said.

Spotless chairman resigns

The proceedings follow the resignation of chairman Margaret Jackson, who announced her retirement last week, effective immediately.

In a statement Spotless said Jackson’s retirement was due to ill health.

Jackson, who has served as chairman since March 2014, will be succeeded by Garry Hounsell.

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