May 1, 2020 / 4:31 AM / a month ago

Australia's Treasury Wine hit with another class action lawsuit over conduct

May 1 (Reuters) - Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates on Friday said it had been served with another class action lawsuit filed by Maurice Blackburn alleging that the winemaker engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

The new lawsuit follows one from law firm Slater and Gordon filed in early April over claims regarding losses suffered by shareholders after Treasury Wine’s full-year results announcement.

Maurice Blackburn’s class action also focuses on the decline in performance of the world’s biggest stand-alone winemaker in its United States business. It alleges that the company breached its duty of continuous disclosure between June 30, 2018 and January 28, 2020.

In January, the company slashed its forecast for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years citing increased competition at its United States business and pricing pressures.

This prompted the winemaker to consider a potential spin off of the prestigious Penfolds label and shrink its low-end “commercial” division in the United States in a bid to boost its profit as coronavirus-induced restrictions hammered sales.

Treasury on Friday said it denies all allegations and intends to defend the proceedings.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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