Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit Against YPF
NEW YORK -- April 8, 2013
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) today announced that a
class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the American
Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) of YPF Sociedad Anonima (“YPF” or the “Company”)
between December 22, 2009 and April 16, 2012, inclusive (the “Class Period”)
seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning
this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel,
Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or
619/231-1058, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any member of the putative
class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their
choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
YPF describes itself as “Argentina’s leading energy company, operating a fully
integrated oil and gas chain with leading market positions” in the
exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and
liquefied petroleum gas, and the refining, marketing, transportation and
distribution of energy-based products. Since 1999, YPF was owned and
controlled by Repsol S.A., formerly known as Repsol YPF, S.A. (“Repsol”).
Repsol is a Spanish-based, integrated oil and gas company that is engaged in
all aspects of the oil and gas industry.
The complaint alleges that in late 2007, Repsol hoped that it could shield
itself against possible Argentinean government aggression and began to reduce
its exposure to Argentina by agreeing to sell up to 25% of YPF to businessman
Enrique Eskenazi’s Petersen Group, which was closely allied with the
Argentinean government. In December 2009, YPF announced a five-year plan, also
known as the Horizon 2014 plan, to increase exploration in untapped regions of
Argentina. However, in reality, the plan was part of a scheme that would allow
Repsol to stave off nationalization of YPF by claiming that it would invest
its capital in exploration and production of Argentina’s natural resources
and, at the same time, enable Repsol to sell off large percentages of its
holdings in YPF.
According to the complaint, Repsol and the Eskenazis had no intention to
reinvest YPF’s capital into Argentina because Repsol and the Eskenazi family
needed YPF to continue to pay abnormally high dividends (80 to 90 percent) for
their own benefit rather than invest in the production of oil and gas through
their concession contracts with certain Argentinean provinces. The high
dividends were used by the Eskenazi family to pay back the “no-money down”
loans it received from Repsol and certain banks to acquire its stake in YPF.
Specifically, since 2006, YPF invested $11 billion in Argentina while handing
out $3.5 billion in dividends. However, contrary to YPF’s Horizon 2014 plan,
the majority of their investment went to bolstering existing fields rather
than to exploration.
The complaint further alleges that throughout the Class Period, the
Argentinean government was frustrated with the way that YPF was being run.
Specifically, the Argentinean government was dissatisfied that: (i)Argentina
was becoming a net importer of natural gas and oil, despite having sufficient
supplies of its own natural resources; (ii) YPF was not adequately producing
oil and gas within Argentina; and (iii)YPF was continuing to distribute a
large portion of its profits to Repsol and its other shareholders in the form
of high dividends instead of reinvesting them back into the Company and its
operations. By late 2011, the Argentinean government grew unhappy with Repsol
and the Eskenazi family and their lack of investment. On April 16, 2012, the
President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (“Fernández”),
announced that the government would nationalize YPF and seize a majority stake
in YPF from Repsol. Moreover, President Fernández ousted defendant Sebastián
Eskenazi as YPF’s CEO, among others, and named two top aides to run the
Company. Upon this news, trading in the Company’s ADSs was halted on April 17,
2012. When trading resumed on April 18, 2012, the price of the Company’s ADSs
declined $6.38 per ADS, or over 32%, to close at $13.12 per ADS, on
significantly heavy trading volume.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of YPF ADSs
during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins
Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and
extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.
Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in
contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. With nearly 200 lawyers
in nine offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer
pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion.
The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries and has been ranked
number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top
SCAS 50 every year since 2003. Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
Samuel H. Rudman, 800-449-4900
David A. Rosenfeld
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