13 Mar 2023

Fletcher Building sued by group of investors

11:37 am on 13 March 2023
Cranes in Auckland's central city.

Cranes in Auckland's central city. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Fletcher Building is being sued by a group of investors for alleged breaches of disclosures about the state of its business more than five years ago.

An Australian law firm has lodged a shareholder class action in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the company said in a statement.

The persons who acquired Fletcher Building shares on the New Zealand and the Australian stock exchanges between mid-August 2016 and late October 2017 were taking the action, it said.

"[It] relates to Fletcher Building's disclosures regarding its Building and Interiors business in that period," it said.

"FBL (Fletcher Building Ltd) intends to defend the proceedings."

The company declined to make any other comment.

During the period specified Fletcher Building disclosed major losses of more than $400 million in the building and interiors division, principally from the Christchurch Justice Precinct and the International Convention Centre in Auckland.

The large losses and wisdom of some acquisitions led to the sacking of chief executive Mark Adamson and a shareholder backlash against the board, resulting in the resignation of Fletcher Building chair Sir Ralph Norris.

Specialist Australian law firms have been active in organising class actions suits for alleged breaches of disclosure rules, which require stock exchange listed companies to reveal any information about the health of their business as soon as possible.

Infant formula company A2 Milk was subject of a similar lawsuit on both sides of the Tasman.

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