NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Action–Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized stockholder rights law firm, announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (“Sinovac” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SVA) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Sinovac securities between April 11, 2016 and February 22, 2019, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”). Investors have until October 17, 2022 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
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Since January 2016, competing sets of shareholders have been vying for control of Sinovac. Defendants are individuals and entities associated with 1Globe, a family investment office that is owned and controlled by Defendant Jiaqiang Li (“Li”). Li was Sinovac’s largest shareholder when 1Globe’s Chief Executive Officer made an offer in January 2016 to buy Sinovac for approximately $350 million. Li supported a competing group that sought to buy Sinovac for a higher price. Rather than provide this support in an open and transparent manner, Li and 1Globe used deceptive practices to advance their position. After Sinovac adopted the Rights Agreement on March 28, 2016, which contained a “poison pill” that limited the amount of Sinovac stock that a shareholder could acquire, Defendants made many intentionally false and misleading statements and violated their statutory disclosure obligations under Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Section 13(d)”), in order to conceal the extent and purpose of Li’s and 1Globe’s ownership of Sinovac stock.
In addition to misrepresenting the amount of Sinovac stock that Li and 1Globe owned, Defendants misrepresented their secret plan to act in concert with other shareholders to try to take control of the Company. While Sinovac knew that Li and 1Globe were acting in concert based on the Company’s private communications with them during the battle for control of the Company, this information was not known to public shareholders.
Plaintiff and the Class are Sinovac shareholders that have been caught in the middle of this battle between Sinovac’s management and 1Globe for control of the Company. While Plaintiff and the Class also seek to receive fair value if Sinovac is taken private, Defendants’ behind-the-scenes scheming impeded this effort. Instead, Defendants have caused Plaintiff and the Class substantial harm by making them lose their ability to collect at least millions of shares they would have otherwise been entitled to under the Rights Agreement.
Even the purchase of a single share of Sinovac stock above the rights Agreement’s 15% thresholder constitutes a trigger event under the Rights Agreement. All of Li’s and 1Globe’s purchases of Sinovac stock that they made – or directed to be made on their behalf – after March 28, 2016, therefore triggered Sinovac’s poison pill.
Defendant’s intentionally false statements and omissions concerning the true nature of Li’s and 1Globe’s ownership of Sinovac stock caused the exchange (“Exchange”) under the Rights Agreement to be delayed by several years. If Li had fully disclosed his ownership of Sinovac stock, as he was required to do under Section 13(d), it would have been clear as day that the Rights Agreement was triggered by May 2016, at the latest. While Sinovac knew enough information starting in 2016, largely based on private correspondence, to determine that 1Globe and Li triggered the rights Agreement, Defendants hid the full extent of their ownership of Sinovac stock and their agreements in connection with the battle for control of the Company. Defendants therefore also tortiously interfered with Sinovac’s contractual obligations to its shareholders under the Rights Agreement.
If 1Globe and Li’s actions were disclosed publicly, as they were required to be under Section 13(d), Plaintiff’s rights would have been exercisable based on that disclosure, and an Exchange would have occurred based on that date. By misrepresenting the true nature of their ownership of Sinovac stock, Defendants caused that date to be delayed almost three years, until February 22, 2019, resulting in Plaintiff and the Class losing their rights to acquire additional shares of Sinovac stock for all of their shares that they sold in the interim. While Sinovac should have implemented the Rights Agreement in 2016 based on the information available to it at the time, 1Globe and Li exacerbated the problem by violating their disclosure obligations under Section 13(d). Moreover, Defendants caused the value of Sinovac stock to be artificially depressed by preventing the public from accounting for the value of Defendants’ stake in Sinovac and their efforts to take control of the Company.
If you purchased or otherwise acquired Sinovac shares and suffered a loss, are a long-term stockholder, have information, would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Brandon Walker or Melissa Fortunato by email at email@example.com, telephone at (212) 355-4648, or by filling out this contact form. There is no cost or obligation to you.
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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.