hoovers.com: Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company, PLC are Sued by Chicago Law Firm Much Shelist for Securities Fraud -- RD, SC
February 13, 2004 1:27pm
CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C. announces that it has sued Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (NYSE:RD) ("Royal Dutch") and the Shell Transport and Trading Company, PLC (NYSE:SC) ("Shell Transport") and certain of their officers and directors, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The shareholder lawsuit is on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased the American Depository Receipts (ADR's) of Royal Dutch and/or Shell Transport (collectively "Royal Dutch/Shell") between December 3, 1999 and January 9, 2004, inclusive ("Class Period").
The Complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period, thereby artificially inflating the price of Royal Dutch/Shell securities.
If you wish to discuss your rights and interests, or if you have information relevant to the lawsuit, you may contact Carol V. Gilden at Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C., by calling a toll-free number 1-800-470-6824, or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Your e-mail should refer to Shell.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants Royal Dutch, Shell Transport, Shell Petroleum N.V., the Shell Petroleum Limited, Maarten van der Bergh, Judy Boynton, Malcolm Brinded, S.L. Miller, Harry J.M. Roels, Paul D. Skinner, M. Moody-Stuart, Jeroen van der Veer, and Philip R. Watts issued statements during the Class Period which were materially false and misleading in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others: (1) that Royal Dutch/Shell had overstated its proved oil and gas reserve figures by 20%; (2) that Royal Dutch/Shell accomplished the overstatement by including in its proved oil and gas reserves figures, when its venture partners did not, estimates from the Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia and the Nigerian Projects in Africa when such projects did not meet industry and SEC standards for proved reverses; (3) that the inclusion of Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia and the Nigerian Projects in Africa and other projects was accomplished through the booking of its proved oil and gas reversed figures on the basis of initial letters of intent rather than on the basis of when such projects had been contracted; and (4) as a result, Royal Dutch/Shell's true market value was materially overstated at all relevant times.
On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch/Shell announced that, following internal reviews, some proved hydrocarbon reserves would be recategorized. The total non-recurring recategorization, relative to the proved reserves as stated at December 31, 2002, represented 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") of proved reserves, or 20% of proved reserves at that date. Over 90% of the total change is a reduction in the proved undeveloped category, the balance is a reduction in the proved developed category. Additionally, the Company stated that of the recategorization, two thirds (2.7 billion barrels) relates to crude oil and natural gas liquids, and one third (1.2 billion boe or 7.2 trillion standard cubic feet) to natural gas. Moreover, Royal Dutch/Shell indicated that the FAS69 standardized measure of discounted future cash flows associated with the proved reserves would be impacted.
Upon disclosure of this information, shares of Shell Transport fell 6.9%, or $3.12 per share, on heavy volume to close at $41.69 per share on January 9, 2004. Additionally, shares of Royal Dutch fell 7.8%, or $4.15 per share, on heavy volume to close at $48.61 per share on January 9, 2004.
If you purchased Royal Dutch/Shell ADR's during the Class Period and if you meet certain other legal requirements, you may file a motion in the Court where the lawsuit has been filed to serve as a lead plaintiff. You must file your motion no later than March 26, 2004.
A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. The requirements for serving as a lead plaintiff are set forth in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 78u-4).
Much Shelist's history is one of experience, leadership and results. For more than 25 years, Much Shelist has represented plaintiffs in class action litigation in federal and state courts across the United States. The firm has successfully prosecuted cases involving securities fraud, antitrust violations, consumer fraud, unlawful business practices and insurance company fraud. Under Much Shelist's leadership, class members have obtained judgments and settlements in excess of $4 billion.
CONTACT: Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, P.C.
Carol V. Gilden, Esq.
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