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Shareholders sue Treasury Wine Estates

Treasury Wine Estates, the Australian company that owns wine brands including Beringer, Chateau St. Jean and Cellar No. 8, is facing a class-action lawsuit from Australian shareholders.

The suit is being led by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, a class-action practice in Australia that has secured more than $1 billion in settlements for shareholders, businesses and consumers, and IMF (Australia) Ltd., a litigation funder.

The action concerns Treasury's announcement in July of up to $160 million in expected write-downs as a result of excess wine being held by distributors in the United States. Shareholders said the losses should have been disclosed earlier.

"By not disclosing the possibility of a material write-down when we allege it should have, the company caused shareholders to suffer financial loss," Simon Dluzniak, IMF (Australia) investment manager, said in a statement.

Treasury Wine Estates said it had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

"TWE strongly denies any allegations of wrongdoing and will defend any class action proceedings vigorously," spokesman Joel Fisher said in a statement.


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