Slater & Gordon considers class action against Hastie
HASTIE Group's former directors, auditor and corporate advisers could face legal action from shareholders on top of the action by administrators, after law firm Slater & Gordon revealed it was investigating the viability of a class action.
The legal firm has been approached by "dozens of affected shareholders" since Hastie collapsed in late May 2012, according to commercial and project litigation lawyer Ben Hardwick.
However, no legal action has been filed and Slater & Gordon has not yet secured any funding for action.
Mr Hardwick said the firm had been contacted by shareholders and former employees who purchased shares through a scheme, but was waiting for PPB Advisory to release its preliminary report. The report recommends the company be put into liquidation. "At present the shareholders stand to gain nothing from this liquidation process," Mr Hardwick said. "In the course of its investigation, Slater & Gordon will seek to work with the administrators and any future liquidators of Hastie in order to advance the interests of Hastie's shareholders," he said.
In a report released on Monday PPB noted there could be grounds for former Hastie directors to be questioned in a public examination, and recommends a liquidator investigate whether directors breached their duties. The report raises concerns about work done for Hastie by auditor Deloitte, and advisers Macquarie Capital and UBS.
Hastie shares soared to $40 during its seven years as a listed company. Shares were trading around $10 in 2011 when the board downgraded earnings by $23 million and announced it was considering a capital raising. Shares last traded at 16¢.