Venator Materials PLC (NYSE: VNTR) Investor Securities Class Action Lawsuit 07/31/2019

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Company Name(s): 
Venator Materials
Case Name: 
Venator Materials Shareholder Class Action Lawsuit 07/31/2019
Case Status: 
Lawsuit Filed
Affected Securities
Lawsuit Overview
Type of Lawsuit: 
Shareholder Class Action
Date Filed: 
Class Period Begin: 
Class Period End: 
Court of Filing: 
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Deadline To File for Lead: 

An investor in shares of Venator Materials PLC (NYSE: VNTR) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over alleged violations of Federal Securities Laws by Venator Materials PLC in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements made between August 2, 2017 and October 29, 2018.

United Kingdom based Venator Materials PLC manufactures and markets chemical products worldwide. On January 30, 2017, a fire ravaged one of Venator Materials PLC’s key Titanium Dioxide manufacturing plants located in Pori, Finland. Before the fire, the Pori facility could produce up to 130,000 metric tons of Titanium Dioxide each year, which represented approximately 17% of the Company’s total Titanium Dioxide capacity and approximately 2% of total global demand for the chemical.
Venator Materials PLC was previously organized as the Pigments & Additives division within Huntsman Corporation, a multinational manufacturer of chemical products.

On or around August 3, 2017, Venator Materials PLC conducted its initial public offering (“IPO”), through which more than 26 million ordinary shares of Venator were sold at $20 per share. Four months after the IPO, on or around December 4, 2017, Venator conducted a secondary public offering, through which an additional 23.7 million ordinary shares of Venator Materials PLC were sold at $22.50 per share.
On July 31, 2018, Venator Materials PLC revealed that the fire damage at the Pori facility was far more extensive than the Company had previously represented to investors. Specifically, Venator announced that the cost to repair the facility had climbed to more than $375 million above the insurance policy limits, more than double the amount disclosed to investors just two months after the IPO.
Then, on September 12, 2018, Venator Materials PLC announced that it was abandoning the Pori facility altogether, despite the Company’s previous assurances that the site would be repaired and restored back to its full operating capacity. The Company also revealed that the facility was still only operating at 20% capacity and thus had not increased production by any meaningful amount during the thirteen months since the IPO.
Finally, on October 30, 2018, Venator announced that in addition to the over $500 million in costs and lost business associated with the Pori fire incurred to date—which had been covered by Venator’s insurance policy—the Company incurred an additional restructuring expense of approximately $415 million and would incur additional “charges of $220 million through the end of 2024” related to the Pori site.

Shares of Venator Materials PLC (NYSE: VNTR) declined from $26.90 per share on October 2017 to as low as $2.03 per share.

According to the complaint the plaintiff alleges violations under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on behalf of investors in Venator ordinary shares during the time period of August 2, 2017 and October 29, 2018, and the plaintiff alleges also violations under Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired Venator ordinary shares in or traceable to the Company's initial public offering of ordinary shares conducted on or around August 3, 2017 (the "IPO"), and secondary public offering of ordinary shares conducted on or around December 4, 2017 (the "SPO," and together with the IPO, the "Offerings").

More specifically, the plaintiff claims that the defendants misrepresented the true extent of the fire damage to Venator's Pori facility, the cost to rehabilitate the facility, and the impact on Venator's business and operations. The plaintiff also alleges that the company assured investors that the Pori facility would be rebuilt with insurance proceeds within its policy limits, and that between August 2, 2017 and October 29, 2018, Venator and its executives continued to assure investors that the rebuild of the Pori facility was on track and that the Company would be able to fully recoup the production capacity lost in the fire.