According to the Complaint, Sasol Limited operates as an integrated chemical and energy company in South Africa. The Company operates through Mining, Exploration and Production International, Energy, Base Chemicals, and Performance Chemicals segments.
On October 27, 2014, Sasol announced the construction of an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana, dubbed the Lake Charles Chemicals Project (“LCCP”). According to the Company, the LCCP includes seven manufacturing units, some of which are in continued development, including the low-density polyethylene (“LDPE”) facility and Ziegler alcohol, ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohol facilities, among others.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations and compliance policies. Specifically, the Complaint alleges Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Sasol had conducted insufficient due diligence into, and failed to account for multiple issues with the LCCP, as well as the true cost of the project; (ii) construction and operation of the LCCP was consequently plagued by control weaknesses, delays, rising costs, and technical issues; (iii) these issues were exacerbated by Sasol’s top-level management, who engaged in improper and unethical behavior with respect to financial reporting for the LCCP and the project’s oversight; (iv) all the foregoing was reasonably likely to render the LCCP significantly more expensive than disclosed and negatively impact the Company’s financial results; and (v) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On May 4, 2020, the Court issued an Order appointing Lead Plaintiff and Counsel. Lead Plaintiff filed an amended Complaint on June 4. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the amended Complaint on July 2. On August 24, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. One of the individual Defendants was dismissed.
Lead Plaintiff filed a second amended Complaint on September 11, 2020. On April 1, 2022, the parties entered into a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement. The Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement on April 18, 2022. On August 19, the Court granted final approval of the Settlement, including an award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses, and entered Final Judgment.
On April 26, 2023, the Court issued an Order approving distribution of the Class Settlement funds.