Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings is being targeted for a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to inform the market regarding losses on its Brisbane airport link toll road.

The company was recently penalised $300,000 by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) following a $907 million downgrade, and has stated it will “vigorously defend any class action.” According to ASIC, the company waited to disclose writedowns on three of its large projects, which resulted in losses and a significant drop in the price of its shares. ASIC is the Australian corporate, markets and financial services regulator, and an independent Commonwealth Government body.

“The infringement issued by ASIC sends a strong message that reinforces our belief that Leighton did indeed know of its weaker position before the market was informed,” said Principal Andrew Watson. “It has ended up costing shareholders, all the way from everyday mum-and-dad investors through to some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, sums totalling millions of dollars, and those shareholders deserve to get some of that money back.”

Leighton continues to maintain its position of accepting no liability, and will fight any class action it may face. Meanwhile, the ASIC is cautioning all of Australia’s listed companies to adhere to continuous disclosure laws in the wake of the Leighton Holdings downgrade.

Founded in Australia in 1949, the Leighton Group is headquartered in Sydney, and is one of the world’s major contracting, services and project development organisations and the world’s largest contract miner.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

January 18, 2021, 9:17 PM AEDT