Centro Retail Australia has gone into a trading halt pending an announcement on settlement discussions over its $200 million class action.
About 5000 investors, some of whom lost life savings, have accused Centro of misleading and deceptive conduct for not disclosing in 2007 that it had at least $3 billion of interest-bearing debt falling due within 12 months.
When it did disclose the debt, as is legally required by the Australian Securities Exchange, its shares plunged by 76 per cent in one day on December 17, 2007.
Centro has since restructured itself as listed retail property trust Centro Retail Australia, including the Centro Retail Group.
However, its other entity, the more debt-ridden Centro Properties Group, was abandoned and the new entity claims it should not be responsible for the old entity's past mistakes.
The case, that may be the biggest class action in Australian history, began in Melbourne on March 5, more than four years after the shopping centre owner and funds manager nearly collapsed under $5.7 billion in debt.
The trading halt is due to be lifted on Thursday, May 10, or earlier if the company makes an announcement.