Did Spectrum Brands mislead shareholders?

A class-action lawsuit has been filed by shareholders of Spectrum Brands Holdings charging the company’s executives, then-CEO Andreas Rouvé and CFO Douglas Martin, with misleading shareholders as to the status of two distribution centers it was building in Ohio and Kansas.

According to a Wisconsin State Journal report, the shareholders were told that the projects were moving along without issue, despite tumbling profits and millions of dollars of orders that could not be shipped.

Spectrum execs finally disclosed in 2018 that both facilities had “serious hitches,” and its stock price fell. Shareholders charge that by not disclosing the information early on, it had artificially inflated Spectrum’s stock price. Plaintiff Earl Wagner reportedly filed the suit “on behalf of investors who acquired Spectrum securities between June 14, 2016 and April 25, 2018.”

Rouve’ resigned from his position as Spectrum’s CEO last May and was replaced by David Maura. The Middleton-based company says it will fight the “meritless” claims.