On August 6, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the plaintiff in Vecchio Longo Consulting Services Inc. v. Aphria Inc. et. al. (Court file No. CV-19-00614086-00CP) (the “Action“) leave to proceed, with a global securities class action for misrepresentations pursuant to section 138.3 of the Ontario Securities Act against Aphria Inc. and its former officers and directors Victor Neufeld and Cole Cacciavillani (the “Aphria Defendants“). In the same decision, the Court certified this secondary market shareholder claim as a class proceeding (the “Secondary Market Claim”), and appointed Vecchio Longo Consulting Services Inc. as representative plaintiff.
In addition, the Court certified the misrepresentation claims in the Action pursuant to section 130 of the Ontario Securities Act (“Prospectus Claim“) as a class action against the Aphria Defendants and securities underwriters Canaccord Genuity Corp., Clarus Securities Inc., Cormark Securities Inc., Haywood Securities Inc., and Infor Financial Group Inc. (the “Underwriters“), conditional upon class counsel bringing a motion within one hundred days of the decision for the appointment of a representative plaintiff for class members that purchased Aphria shares pursuant to a $258 million prospectus offering made by Aphria that closed on June 28, 2018 (“Prospectus Purchasers“). To facilitate the identification of Prospectus Purchasers who may serve as a representative plaintiff, the Underwriters are each ordered to deliver within thirty days of the decision an affidavit listing their respective purchasers of shares in the prospectus offering.
Subject to the conditional certification of the Prospectus Claim, the class is defined as:
“All persons other than Excluded Persons, wherever they may reside or be domiciled, who acquired Aphria common shares during the Class Period, where Excluded Persons are defined as Defendants, their past and present subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, senior employees, partners, legal representatives, heirs, predecessors, successors and assigns, and any individual who is a member of the immediate family of an Individual Defendant.”
The Class Period is defined as “the period of time after 07:00 ET January 29, 2018 until 08:25 ET December 3, 2018.”
Formal Notice and Opt-Out provisions will be by further Order of the Court.