Bernstein Liebhard, a nationally acclaimed investor rights law firm, announces that a securities class action has been filed on behalf of investors that purchased or acquired the securities of Sasol Limited (“Sasol” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SSL) between March 10, 2015, and January 13, 2020 (the “Class Period”)
If you purchased Sasol securities, and/or would like to discuss your legal rights and options, please click “Join Class Action” above
New York, New York — Bernstein Liebhard, a nationally acclaimed investor rights law firm, announces that a securities class action has been filed on behalf of investors that purchased or acquired the securities of Sasol Limited (“Sasol” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SSL) between March 10, 2015, and January 13, 2020 (the “Class Period”). The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Sasol had conducted insufficient due diligence into, and failed to account for multiple issues with, the LCCP, as well as the true cost of the project; (ii) construction and operation of the LCCP was consequently plagued by control weaknesses, delays, rising costs, and technical issues; (iii) these issues were exacerbated by Sasol’s top-level management, who engaged in improper and unethical behavior with respect to financial reporting for the LCCP and the projects oversight; (iv) all the foregoing was reasonably likely to render the LCCP significantly more expensive than disclosed and negatively impact the Company’s financial results; and (v) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On June 6, 2016, Sasol reported that the expected total capital expenditure for the [LCCP] could increase up to US$11 billion, including site infrastructure and utility improvements; a slower rate of capital resulted in an extended project schedule and contributed to further project cost increases; [t]he expected returns for the project have reduced due to changes in long-term price assumptions and the higher capital estimates; and [t]he increase in the estimated LCCP capital cost and extended schedule will reduce the expected project returns by approximately the same amount as the Company’s lower long-term price assumptions. Following these disclosures, Sasol’s ADR price fell $3.53 per share, or 10.99% to close at $28.60 per share on June 6, 2016.
On May 22, 2019, during pre-market hours, Sasol disclosed that the cost estimate for the LCCP has been revised to a range of $12,6 to $12,9 billion which includes a contingency of $300 million. Sasol cited a $530 million change in the projects cost forecast because of a [c]orrection for duplication of investment allowances of approximately $230 million; a [c]orrection for certain contracts and variation orders managed by Sasol, outside the primary engineering, procurement and construction contract, of approximately $180 million; and forecast improvements that were not expected to be realised and adjustments for potential insurance claims and procurement back-charges of approximately $120 million. Following these disclosures, Sasol’s ADR price fell $4.50 per share, or 14.93%, to close at $25.64 per share on May 22, 2019.
Later, on August 16, 2019, during pre-market hours, Sasol issued a press release disclosing that it was delaying the announcement of its 2019 financial results because of possible LCCP control weaknesses. On this news, Sasols ADR price fell $0.74 per share, or 4.02%, to close at $17.67 per share on August 16, 2019. Then, on October 28, 2019, Sasol disclosed that its review of the LCCP control weaknesses had brought to light errors, omissions, and inaccuracies in the [LCCP] cost estimate, and a number of unethical and improper reporting activities that took place at the highest level of management. Sasol also announced the resignation of, inter alia, its Joint Presidents and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), effective November 1, 2019, and Senior Vice Presidents and others previously in charge of the LCCP.
Finally, on January 14, 2020, Sasol issued a press release confirming that on January 13, 2020, the Company experienced an explosion and fire at its LCCP low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit. Sasol stated that [t]he unit was in the final stages of commissioning and startup when the incident occurred and has been shut down and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident, the extent of the damage and resulting impact on the LDPE units [beneficial operation] schedule. Following these disclosures, Sasol’s ADR price fell $1.70 per share, or 7.84%, over the following two trading days, closing at $19.99 per share on January 15, 2020.
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than April 6, 2020. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn’t require that you serve as lead plaintiff. If you choose to take no action, you may remain an absent class member.
Since 1993, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients. In addition to representing individual investors, the Firm has been retained by some of the largest public and private pension funds in the country to monitor their assets and pursue litigation on their behalf. As a result of its success litigating hundreds of lawsuits and class actions, the Firm has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” thirteen times and listed in The Legal 500 for ten consecutive years.
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Matthew E. Guarnero Bernstein Liebhard LLP
(877) 779-1414 MGuarnero@bernlieb.com