In March 2008, Siskinds LLP filed a $110 million class action under Ontario's new investor protection legislation (Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act) against SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta") and certain of SunOpta's senior officers. The action arises out of SunOpta's January 24, 2008 announcement of significant write-downs related to its Fruit and BioProcess groups, and SunOpta’s restatement of previously issued financial statements. Among other things, it is alleged in the Statement of Claim that the defendants falsely represented that certain of SunOpta's quarterly financial statements from 2007 were compiled in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
The class action is brought on behalf of all persons who acquired SunOpta securities from February 23, 2007 to January 24, 2008 (the "Class Period"). This case is believed to be the sixth class action filed under Ontario's new investor protection legislation.
In September 2009, the parties in the Ontario class action and the parallel class action in the United States agreed to settle those actions for CAD $11.25 million. The settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and the settlement agreement contains no admission of wrongdoing by SunOpta or any of the other named defendants, all of whom expressly deny any liability or wrongdoing, and continue to do so. Additionally, SunOpta has agreed to adopt corporate governance measures aimed at, among other things, its internal controls over financial reporting. You may view a copy of the Settlement Agreement here: [Stipulation and Settlement Agreement]
By Orders issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, dated May 17 and May 13, 2010, respectively, the Courts approved the Settlement Agreement reached between the parties. Please note, the deadline for filing a claim was June 11, 2010. Cheques were mailed to Eligible Claimants in February 2012.
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