Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ABC Learning To Face Class Action From IMF?

I've written about ABC Learning (ASX Code: ABS) a number of times recently, and it seems there may be more bad news on the way. I read in the Business Section of The Age yesterday that IMF will be funding a class action against the Australian Stock Market's largest childcare provider.

According to the article, the lawsuit hinges upon an alleged lack of disclosure by ABC. In February of this year $73 million of develper fees was disclosed for the first time. This $73 million along with a couple of other one-off items was enough to allow ABC to report a profit, but without these one-off items, there would have been a rather nasty loss. Apparently any litigation would relate to the material nature of these developer fees.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange a couple of days ago, ABC Learning were at pains to point out that it "has not received any claim or any notice of claim" with regard to the action from IMF. It said that IMF's announcement is simply stating it's intention to fund any possible claim - depending on the level of participation.

IMF is a provider of funding and support in litigation similar to the one mentioned above. It seems to have had some success recently including a settlement with Aristocrat (ALL) for which I'm sure IMF will earn a hefty fee.

ABC Learning Shares closed at 83 cents today, down half of one cent.