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Ocean Power Technologies close to resolving legal case

License: CC0 Creative Commons

March 16 (Renewables Now) - New Jersey-based wave energy developer Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ:OPTT), or OPT, is close to officially resolving a consolidated derivative lawsuit relating to a terminated agreement with an Australian governmental entity.

The US District Court in New Jersey has issued on March 9, 2018 an order granting preliminary approval of a proposed settlement of the lawsuit, OPT announced on Thursday. If the settlement gets court approval, it will resolve all of the claims alleged in the lawsuit without any admission or concession of wrongdoing or liability by the defendants.

A hearing will be held on May 14, 2018 to determine whether the court will issue a final order approving the settlement. Objections can be filed by the end of next month.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2015 as current and former directors of the company were accused of breaching their fiduciary duties by causing OPT, through Victorian Wave Partners Pty Ltd (VWP), to sign a modified agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to develop a project off the Australian coast that was allegedly not commercially viable. The plaintiffs also claimed that the company had issued false or misleading statements regarding the deal and the commercial viability of the scheme.

“The proposed settlement of the derivative lawsuit is another significant step for OPT to resolve legacy issues and better positions the Company for future growth,” said George Kirby, president and CEO of OPT.

Earlier this month, the wave energy company reported a net loss of USD 1.7 million (EUR 1.4m) for its fiscal third quarter ended January 31, 2018. This was a reduction from a loss of USD 2.1 million a year earlier as the firm registered a higher income tax benefit. In the third quarter of fiscal 2018/19 OPT generated no revenue versus USD 221,000 a year back.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, OPT posted a flat net loss of USD 6.9 million on a revenue of USD 289,000. The top line was down from USD 593,000.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.812)

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