Type of Claim: Investigating
Claim Period: 30 May 2017 to 28 September 2018
Defendants: Ryanair Holdings Plc
Governing Law: English law
Limitation: To be determined
On 30 May 2017, Ryanair filed a release with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing its financial results for its fiscal year ended 31 March 2017. The release highlighted the company’s treatment of its workers and employees as a reason for its success. In particular, the release stated that Ryanair had completed “industry leading” contracts with its pilots and cabin crew in Europe and that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had recently issued a ruling that validated Ryanair’s treatment of its workers.
Ryanair and its CEO Michael O’Leary continued to state throughout 2017 its strong and good relationships with its employees and said that it would “not face significant difficulty in hiring and continuing to employ the required personnel” sufficient to meet its growth plans.
On 1 October 2018, Ryanair revealed that it could not meet its annual profit guidance due to decreased fares and costs related to the strikes and flight disruptions.
The share price fell from €18.44 on 30 May 2017 to €11.43 on 1 October 2018, causing the market capitalisation to fall by just over €7.9bn.
A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (18-CV-10330) in relation to the Ryanair American Depositary Shares alleging that those statements were materially false and/or misleading. The allegations are that when those statements were made, the company knew that relations with its employees had broken down amidst growing dissatisfaction with working conditions.
An amended US Class Action was filed on 5 April 2019 with Motions to Dismiss filed on 14 June 2019; Opposition to motions to Dismiss filed on 23 Aug 2019 and the Reply to the Opposition to the Motions to Dismiss filed on 11 October 2019.
Expect the Opinion and Order from the judge on the motions to dismiss in the first half of 2020.
Stewarts is investigating the viability of a shareholder claim in the English courts.
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