Ballard Power Systems Inc.
- Company Name
- Ballard Power Systems Inc.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- September 30, 2016 to January 25, 2018
- Motion Deadline
- March 28, 2018
- Central District of California
The complaint charges Ballard and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Ballard provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. The Company designs, develops, manufactures, sells and services proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which are a leading candidate to replace aging alkaline fuel-cell technology.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding the Company’s business and operations. Contrary to defendants’ public statements regarding the progress of Ballard’s planned deployment of fuel cell-powered buses in China and its collaboration with China-based Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co. (“Broad-Ocean”) and Guangdong Nation-Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology (“Synergy”), there were no demonstration bus lines operating in Guangdong and no bus lines in service in Sanshui or Yunfu, and the City of Foshan had produced far fewer buses than Ballard had indicated, and only 11 were licensed. In addition, Ballard had overstated the operations of its partners Broad-Ocean and Synergy. As a result of these false statements and/or omissions, Ballard securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with its stock price reaching a high of nearly $6 per share.
Then on January 25, 2018, Spruce Point Capital Management published a report, which was based on an investigation by a China-based research firm performing site visits to conduct due diligence on Synergy and Broad-Ocean, stating, among other things, that Ballard had overstated the operations of its China-based partners, Broad-Ocean and Synergy, and that “there [were] no demonstration lines operating in Guangdong and that no bus lines [were] in service in Sanshui or Yunfu.” The report also stated that “Ballard and local press releases indicate that [Broad-Ocean customer] Foshan ha[d] produced 114 . . . buses . . . [but] a Foshan employee claimed that far fewer buses ha[d] been produced to date and only 11 [were] licensed.” On this news, the price of Ballard shares fell $0.52 per share to close at $3.27 per share on January 25, 2018.