OPT closes in on lawsuit settlement with Australian gov entity

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has informed of a progress made in resolving a consolidated derivative lawsuit concerning the terminated agreement with a governmental entity in Australia.

Namely, the US-based wave energy developer OPT said it was granted a preliminary approval of a proposed settlement from the US District Court in New Jersey on March 9, 2018.

The company and certain of its current and former directors and officers were named in a derivative lawsuit, first filed in March 2015, relating to an agreement, terminated in the summer of 2014, between one of the company’s subsidiaries and a governmental entity in Australia.

The derivative complaint alleged claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement and unjust enrichment relating to the terminated agreement between Victorian Wave Partners (VWP) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the development of a wave power station.

The settlement – if granted final approval by the court – will resolve all of the claims alleged in the lawsuit without any admission or concession of wrongdoing or liability by OPT or other defendants, the company informed.

George Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “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. We value all of our stockholders and investors, and we are pleased to be in a position to put this litigation behind us.”

The court has set a hearing date to determine whether it should issue a final order approving the settlement for May 14, 2018, while the deadline for filing objections to the settlement has been set for April 30, 2018.

OPT has developed PowerBuoy device that harvests the energy of the waves, which can act as both power and communication platform for remote offshore applications.