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Former-Dick Smith Shareholders Sharpen Pitchforks

Former-Dick Smith Shareholders Sharpen Pitchforks

Shareholders of collapsed consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith are said to be considering making claims against parties involved in the doomed-company’s $344 million float, including investments banks and accounting firms.

As reported by the AFR, litigation funder ICP has lodged a claim in the Federal Court seeking documentation relating to Dick Smith’s November 2013 prospectus.

The request is said to have been made with an intent to make claims of more than $200 million on behalf of institutional and retail investors.

ICP asserts that representations in the prospectus and at various times after the float may have given a false impression to the investors about Dick Smith’s financial position and the value of its shares.

“People who invested in the prospectus lost over $200 million,” says ICP founder and chief executive John Walker, the former CEO of litigation funder IMF Bentham.

In particular, the firm will be looking at the legitimacy of claims upon any of the insurance policies described in or attached to the prospectus.

He told the AFR that the firm have a due diligence to identify any courses of action which potentially have the capacity “to return a material component of that $200 million or at least a material component of the money lost by claimants.”

Should such a claim materialise it could target the banks and firms involved in the IPO, including Macquarie Capital, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte Corporate Finance, Minter Ellison and private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners.

“Shareholders lost more money than the banks and earlier than the banks, which may mean the insurance policy money could go to the claimants whose claim first arose in time,” Walker said.

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