SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) (http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/sqm/) today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. (a/k/a Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A.) (“SQM”) (NYSE:SQM) American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) during the period between June 30, 2010 and March 17, 2015 (the “Class Period”).
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from March 19, 2015. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Darren Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/sqm/. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
The complaint charges SQM and certain of its officers and/or directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. SQM purports to be the world’s largest producer of potassium nitrate, iodine and lithium chemicals.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) money from SQM was channeled illicitly to electoral campaigns for Chilean politicians and political parties as far back as 2009; (ii) SQM had filed millions of dollars’ worth of fictitious tax receipts with Chilean authorities in order to conceal bribery payments from at least 2009 through fiscal 2014; (iii) the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times and not prepared in accordance with applicable accounting principles. As a result of these false and misleading statements and/or omissions, the price of SQM ADSs was artificially inflated during the Class Period, reaching a high of over $66.00 per ADS in July 2011.
On February 26, 2015, SQM issued a press release stating that an extraordinary Board meeting had been held “to analyze the matters that have been divulged by the press in recent weeks and are the subject of ongoing public cases.” On March 11, 2015, SQM announced that its Board would meet the next day to evaluate a request by the Office of the Public Prosecutor for delivery of account records and related information in connection with its investigation into improper political campaign contributions. On March 16, 2015, SQM announced that it had turned over to the Chilean Internal Revenue Service all of the information requested by the Public Prosecutor and that the Board had agreed to terminate the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. The complaint alleges that as a result of these partial disclosures, the price of SQM ADSs declined – from a closing price of $26.17 per ADSs on February 25, 2015, to close at $22.10 per ADS on March 17, 2015.
Then on March 18, 2015, SQM announced that three representatives on its Board from Canadian stakeholder The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan had resigned. In a separate release, Potash disclosed that the three directors had resigned because they were “unable to ensure either that an appropriate investigation [was] conducted or that SQM collaborate[d] effectively with the Public Prosecutor,” and that the directors’ “emphatic requests that SQM fully and voluntarily cooperate with . . . the Public Prosecutor . . . ha[d] been rejected by a majority of the board.” As a result of this news, the complaint alleges that the price of SQM ADSs fell an additional $4.23 per ADS, or more than 19%, on unusually heavy trading volume, to close at $17.87 per ADS on March 19, 2015.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of SQM ADSs during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.
Robbins Geller, with 200 lawyers in ten offices, represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. The firm has obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history, including the largest securities class action judgment. Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.