Global Class of Shareholders Certified by Ontario Court in Canadian Solar Securities Class Action
The curious case of Abdula v. Canadian Solar turned heads again in a January ruling granting class certification on behalf of a global class of shareholders. Previously, in 2012, the case had garnered attention when the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that alleged market misrepresentations filed with the United States SEC were actionable claims in Canada even though the company, Canadian Solar, traded solely on the NASDAQ exchange and its principal place of business was China.
Despite the company’s shares trading on a foreign exchange, on January 5, 2015, The Honourable Mr. Justice G. E. Taylor noted that a number of factors connected the company to Ontario. A “Prospectus Supplement . . . implicitly provides that a claim for an oppression remedy would be by way of an action in Canada.” Press releases at issue were released in Ontario, and two directors were identified in an annual report as Canadian directors.
Accordingly, in what the presiding judge wrote was “the first case in which it is sought to certify a global class action which includes all shareholders of a corporation regardless of their residency who purchased their shares on a foreign exchange,” Judge Taylor certified the negligent misrepresentation and statutory claims of a global class of Canadian Solar shareholders in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Abdula v. Canadian Solar, Inc., Court File No. C-710-10, Ruling on Certification (Jan. 5, 2015).