The shareholders have hired a litigation specialist to seek compensation following a fall in the company’s share price after management revealed a £250m black hole in its profits, a figure that was subsequently revised to £263m.
The not-for-profit group, Tesco Shareholder Claims Limited, said it had the full support of US litigation firm Scott + Scott LLP. The firm is the same one that took legal action against Tesco in the US.
David Scott, managing partner, Scott + Scott, said: “International institutions asked us to find a way to bring a claim in the UK which they can join. I am delighted to be part of this action which, given the strength of the case, is already attracting a lot of interest from shareholders in the UK and Europe.”
Scott + Scott is funding a UK law firm to represent the group, known as Tesco Shareholder Claims Limited, to try to muster enough support for a potential claim.
John Bradley, chairman of the group, said: “Tesco is one of the widest held stocks in the UK and this loss has hit pension funds and investors across the UK and beyond. We look forward to bringing this claim to court.”
It could take several months for the case to be assembled. The news prompted the share price to fall 1.2% in early trading, though it has since recovered some of that ground.
Separately, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is currently carrying out a criminal investigation into the accounting irregularities at Tesco.