Leading Canadian Investment Funds Will Oppose Sino-Forest Reorganization Plan Releasing Auditors, Underwriters

Leading Canadian Investment Funds Will Oppose Sino-Forest Reorganization Plan 
Releasing Auditors, Underwriters 
Quick settlement could leave many investors without compensation, damage trust 
in securities safety net in Canada 
TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Leading Canadian investment firms will oppose a 
proposed "framework" that would circumvent normal class-action investor 
protections, the firms announced today. Auditors and underwriters for failed 
Sino-Forest Corporation are in court in Toronto today to seek approvals for 
settlements that would leave many investors without well-established legal 
Parties to the insolvency proceeding, including Sino-Forest itself, former 
Sino-Forest auditors Ernst & Young and BDO, and 11 firms that were 
underwriters for Sino-Forest securities, as well as lawyers for plaintiffs in 
the class action arising from the crash in Sino-Forest stock, want the 
insolvency court to approve a Plan, which includes liability releases that 
would prevent investors from pursuing claims individually against the 
underwriters and auditors ("the Plan"). The objecting investors contend that 
those releases would, in effect, deprive them of well-established rights to 
"opt out" of class actions if they do not want to be bound by settlements 
negotiated by class counsel. 
Comité Syndical National de Retraite Bâtirente Inc. ("Bâtirente"), 
Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. ("NEI") and Trimark Investments, part of 
Invesco Canada Ltd. are concerned that sanctioning the Plan will damage 
investors' trust in the integrity of Canada's capital markets, particularly in 
light of the most recent allegations leveled by the OSC against Ernst & Young. 
"The approval of a settlement with a third party to a CCAA application is 
extraordinary," says John Mountain, SVP Legal, NEI Investments. "The parties 
are proposing to extinguish the legal rights of thousands of investors across 
Canada without allowing them the opportunity to review the settlement or to 
retain counsel and pursue their own actions. We believe it is important to 
step up to protect the legal rights of those investors who are being deprived 
a voice at this crucial stage." 
A class action commenced in Ontario against Sino-Forest, its directors and 
officers, the underwriters, the auditors and other defendants on behalf of 
investors harmed by the alleged fraud involving Sino-Forest. The class action 
alleges that the defendants fundamentally misrepresented the integrity of 
Sino-Forest's business operations and financial reporting, and materially 
overstated its assets and financial results. The class action has not been 
certified and counsel to the plaintiffs in the class action do not represent 
Bâtirente, NEI, Trimark Investments, who have retained their own counsel. 
On March 30, 2012, Sino-Forest sought protection from its creditors under 
Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA"). On Friday, December 7, 
Sino-Forest will ask the court to approve a plan to restructure its 
operations. The most recent version of that plan was only made publically 
available on Monday, December 3, the same day that the OSC announced 
allegations that Ernst & Young had failed in its role as Sino-Forest's 
auditor, and a potential settlement between Ernst & Young and the plaintiffs 
in the class action was announced. The most recent version of the Plan 
includes a mechanism that would forever release Ernst & Young from claims in 
relation to its work as Sino-Forest's auditor and would deprive other 
investors of their legal right to pursue separate actions against Ernst & 
Young. The terms of the settlement with Ernst & Young have not been publicly 
disclosed, although the settlement is purportedly valued at $117 million. 
The Sanction Hearing to approve the Plan is scheduled to take place before 
Justice Morawetz on December 7 and 10, 2012 at 10:00 am. 
Bâtirente, NEI, and Trimark Investments are represented by Kim Orr Barristers 
P.C. of Toronto in these proceedings. 
Released by: 
TRIMARK INVESTMENTS, part of INVESCO CANADA LTD. ("Trimark Investments") 
Colin Nekolaichuk Maverick Public Relations 416-640-5525 x 253 
Michelle Filteau Bâtirente 514-525-5740 x 2425 
SOURCE: NEI Investments 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
CO: Trimark Investments
ST: Ontario
-0- Dec/07/2012 16:16 GMT
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