2 U.S. pension funds named lead plaintiffs in suit against beverage firm
By Kevin Olsen | August 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, Little Rock, and Fresno County (Calif.) Employees' Retirement Association were named lead plaintiffs Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit against Central European Distribution Corp. in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J.
The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit, filed in November, that CEDC issued false and misleading statements about its business and prospects that deceived investors into purchasing the stock at an inflated price. The suit is on behalf of investors that acquired stock between Aug. 5, 2010, and Feb. 28, 2011.
On March 1, 2011, CEDC, Central and Eastern Europe's largest integrated spirit beverage business, reported net losses of $92.9 million for fiscal year 2010, causing the stock to drop $8.50 per share, or more than 37%.
Law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll was appointed lead counsel. Steven Toll, managing partner, said in a telephone interview the losses for the $6 billon Arkansas and $3 billion Fresno County pension funds is estimated around $1 million. The U.S. pension funds received lead plaintiff status over a group of Russian mutual funds, which lost about $13 million, Mr. Toll said.
CEDC's stock was trading at $22.85 prior to the March 1, 2011, earnings announcement. It closed trading on Thursday at $2.77.
Anna Zaluska, spokeswoman for CEDC, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.