In re Acuity Brands, Inc. Securities Litigation

Updated: June 7, 2022
Status: Settled

In re Acuity Brands, Inc. Securities Litigation

On August 13, 2018, Labaton Sucharow LLP was appointed co-lead counsel in a securities class action lawsuit against Acuity Brands, Inc., a leading provider of lighting solutions for commercial, institutional industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications throughout North America and select international markets. The action asserts claims under sections Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rules 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased Acuity common stock between October 7, 2015 and April 3, 2017 (the “Class Period”).

On October 5, 2018, lead plaintiff filed a consolidated amended class action complaint that alleges that defendants made material misrepresentations and omissions to the market regarding Acuity’s ability to maintain the remarkable rate of sales growth it had experienced in the years prior to the Class Period. Since 2010, Acuity had experienced an unbroken run of rapid growth, driven by a recovery in non-residential construction following the financial crisis, and a massive boom in LED lighting technology, which vastly expanded Acuity’s opportunities for both new installations and retrofitting using its products. However, the complaint alleges that facing an influx of new competitors, Acuity sought to reinvent itself into a lighting technology company. These efforts were a colossal failure as Acuity’s new products suffered from a host of technical problems and failed to gain widespread adoption. Additionally, Acuity’s most important customer, The Home Depot – which accounted for more than 10 percent of Acuity’s annual revenues for over a decade – began to shift its business away from Acuity in favor of cheaper suppliers overseas. In the face of rapidly deteriorating demand and vanishing prospects for growth, the defendants made a series of materially false statements to the market that concealed known trends negatively impacting sales of Acuity’s products and overstated Acuity’s ability to achieve profitable sales growth.

Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint and on August 12, 2019, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss. On November 25, 2019, lead plaintiff moved for class certification.  The Court heard oral argument on lead plaintiff’s motion and on August 25, 2020, the Court granted class certification.  By the Court’s order, the Court certified class, appointed Mississippi PERS as class representative and appointed Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Labaton Sucharow LLP as Class Counsel. Defendants filed a motion to appeal the class certification order to the Eleventh Circuit pursuant to Rule 23(f).

While discovery was ongoing and the motion for class certification was pending, the Parties agreed to mediation. Following two mediation sessions and months of discussions, the Parties agreed to resolve the Action and memorialized the terms of their agreement in a term sheet executed on October 5, 2021.  The Parties executed the Stipulation of Settlement on December 2, 2021.  

The case is In re Acuity Brands, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 18-cv-02140 (N.D. Ga.). Labaton Sucharow represents lead plaintiff Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi. The defendants are Acuity Brands, Inc., Acuity’s CEO Vernon J. Nagel, Acuity’s CFO Richard K. Reece, and Acuity’s former Executive Vice President Mark A. Black.

Submit Claim Form

If you purchased publicly traded common stock of Acuity from October 7, 2015 to April 3, 2017, inclusive, and were damaged thereby, you may be entitled to a payment from a class action settlement.  To be eligible for a payment, you must submit a Claim Form to the Claims Administrator by May 18, 2022.

Settlement Hearing

The Court held a Settlement Hearing on June 3, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. EDT remotely via Zoom and the settlement was approved. 

If you have questions about the Settlement, please contact Labaton Sucharow at settlementquestions@labaton.com or 1-888-219-6877, or contact the Claims Administrator, at 1-888-274-4004.

Additional information about the Settlement can also be found at www.strategicclaims.net/acuity.