MG legal action looming
ONE of Australia’s most successful litigation financiers is backing a new class action against Murray Goulburn.
The move came days after suppliers and shareholders of the co-operative voted to sell its assets to Canadian processor Saputo.
IMF Bentham has agreed to finance the class action being contemplated by law firm Slater and Gordon.
Slater and Gordon said the claim was open to current and former investors who acquired units in Murray Goulburn’s Unit Trust between May 29, 2015, and April 26, 2016.
The action is separate from a class action lodged against MG in the Victorian Supreme Court in May 2016 on behalf of lead plaintiff John Webster, a trustee for the Elcar Pty Ltd Super Trust Fund.
That case was later transferred to the Federal Court.
Mr Webster’s barrister, Norman O’Bryan, SC, said that case was set to enter the discovery process, with access sought to MG documents.
IMF Bentham investment manager Kristen Smith said the planned action by Slater and Gordon was a “bit different” to the Webster case in that it did not include claims against MG directors.
“They have some common themes but some differences as well,” Ms Smith said. “It is quite common for more than one class action arising out of corporate misconduct cases.”
MG acknowledged Slater and Gordon’s proposed action but noted no claim had begun.
Last week MG shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of selling assets and liabilities to Saputo.
The sale is to be concluded on May 1, with investors receiving 80c a share or unit on May 15. MG has retained about $235 million with $195 million set aside for litigation costs.