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Multiplex pays £63M over Wembley

Building giant Multiplex has agreed to a 110M Australian dollar (£63M) settlement in a class-action lawsuit from investors that claimed the company failed to disclose cost overruns in the rebuilding of London’s Wembley Stadium and other projects.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement came without admission of liability from Multiplex. The settlement of the four-year class-action lawsuit for 120 complainants was approved Wednesday by the Federal Court of Australia.

“This is a major win for the investors who alleged they lost millions when Multiplex failed to tell the share market about its losses on the Wembley Stadium and other projects between August 2004 and May 2005,” lawyer Andrew Watson said. “Our individual and institutional investors are very pleased with the outcome.”

The lawsuit alleged that Multiplex had breached the continuous disclosure provisions of the Australian Securities Exchange between August 2004 and May 2005, failing to tell the market about cost overruns at three of its construction projects, and consequently the impact on profits and revenue.

The projects were a rebuild of Wembley Stadium in London, the West India Quay hotel and apartment project also in the United Kingdom, and the Qantas Airways heavy maintenance hanger at Brisbane Airport.

It was also alleged that Multiplex had engaged in “creative accounting” to boost revenue figures.

Multiplex, now known as Brookfield Multiplex Ltd., made no admission of liability and said the settlement money had come from third parties, which it did not identify.

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