Tyson, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food company worldwide. Through its Chicken segment, Tyson raises and processes chickens into fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products. The Company sells its products through its sales staff to grocery retailers, grocery wholesalers, meat distributors, warehouse club stores, military commissaries, industrial food processing companies, chain restaurants or their distributors, live markets, international export companies, and domestic distributors, as well as through independent brokers and trading companies.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Tyson systematically colluded with several of its industry peers to fix prices in the broiler-chicken market; (ii) the foregoing conduct constituted a violation of federal antitrust laws; (iii) consequently, Tyson's Chicken segment revenues during the class period were the result of illegal conduct; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, Tyson's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On September 2, 2016, the market had its first inkling of Defendants' fraud, when food distributor Maplevale Farms, Inc. ("Maplevale") filed an antitrust class action complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Tyson and several other poultry producers, including Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, Perdue Farms, Inc., and Sanderson Farms, Inc., alleging that Tyson and the other companies named in the complaint had conspired since 2008 to manipulate the prices of broiler chickens—chickens raised specifically for meat production—by coordinating and limiting production and exchanging detailed information about prices, capacity, and sales volume, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7 (the "Sherman Act").
Between September 7, 2016 and October 7, 2016, eight more class action complaints were filed against Tyson and other poultry companies in the Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of individual consumers and indirect purchasers of broiler chickens, all alleging that Tyson had engaged in the price-manipulation scheme described in Maplevale's complaint.
On October 7, 2016, Pivotal Research ("Pivotal") downgraded Tyson from "Hold" to "Sell." Explaining the downgrade, analyst Timothy Ramey directed investors' attention to the allegations of price manipulation by Tyson and its industry peers and described the Maplevale complaint as "powerfully convincing."
On news of the downgrade, Tyson's share price fell $6.63, or 8.91%, to close at $67.75 on October 7, 2016. From the filing of the Maplevale action on September 2, 2016 to Pivotal's downgrade on October 7, 2016, Tyson's share price fell $8.69, or 11.37%.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby
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SOURCE Pomerantz LLP