The year 2019 saw an uptick in the number of securities class actions filed against non-U.S. issuers, and substantive trends emerged in the types of cases filed.
— Six of the non-U.S. issuers against whom securities class actions were filed in 2019 are alleged to have misrepresented the prospects of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or compliance with FDA rules and regulations.
— Three of the non-U.S. issuers are alleged to have failed to disclose alleged violations of Chinese government regulations.
— Three of the securities class actions filed against non-U.S. issuers related to alleged bribery schemes.
— Seven of the non-U.S. issuers are alleged to have failed to disclose conflicts of interest that were purportedly relevant to investors.
— Plaintiffs filed a total of 64 securities class action lawsuits against non-U.S. issuers in 2019, compared with 54 in 2018, which our previous report on non-U.S. issuers revealed. The 64 from 2019 accounted for just over 15 percent of the total 404 securities class action lawsuits that year.
Of the 64 non-U.S. issuers against whom securities class action complaints were filed in 2019, 18 have corporate headquarters and/or principal places of business in China. Of these 18 companies, 15 are incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
Twelve of the non-U.S. issuers have corporate headquarters and/or principal places of business in the United Kingdom. Nine have corporate headquarters and/or principal places of business in Canada.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, six of the Canadian companies against whom securities class actions were brought in 2019 were cannabis-related companies.
The market capitalization of the non-U.S. issuers at the time at which the securities class actions were filed largely consisted of both smaller market cap companies (16 of 64) under US$250 million and larger market cap companies (20 of 64) over US$5 billion.