According to the law firm press release, Cobalt is an oil exploration and production company headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa.
As alleged in the Complaint, Cobalt has portrayed itself as a company with “world class,” “large” and “oil-focused” wells in the Republic of Angola and claimed that the Company gained access to those wells in compliance with the U.S. law outlawing the bribery of foreign officials (the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or “FCPA”). In truth, Cobalt obtained access to its Angolan wells from the Republic of Angola by partnering with shell companies in Angola that were partially owned by high-level Angolan officials, putting the Company at serious risk of enforcement action by the SEC and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for violations of the FCPA and the federal securities laws. In addition, Cobalt misrepresented the value of its wells in Angola after the Company learned that they contained very little or no oil.
As a result of the Company’s statements to investors, the prices of Cobalt’s stock and bonds were artificially inflated during the Class Period. Investors first began to learn the truth when: (i.) on December 1, 2013, the Company revealed negative results from its Lontra well; (ii.) on August 5, 2014, Cobalt announced that the SEC had escalated its then-ongoing investigation of the Company for possible violations of the federal securities laws by issuing Cobalt a Wells Notice; and (iii.) on November 4, 2014, Cobalt disclosed negative results regarding its Loengo well. In response to these disclosures, the prices of Cobalt securities fell sharply and investors incurred significant losses as a result.
On March 3, 2015, the Court issued an Order appointing lead plaintiffs and approving lead counsel. Lead Plaintiffs filed a consolidated and amended complaint on May 1.
On January 19, 2016, the Court issued an Order denying in part and granting in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiffs were given leave to replead.