A proposed class action claims Camping World stockholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of misleading statements made by company executives in regard to the retailer's acquisition of Gander Mountain.
A proposed class action lawsuit claims Camping World stockholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of misleading statements made by company executives who the suit says falsely touted the success of the RV retailer’s acquisition of Gander Mountain.
Filed against Camping World’s board of directors and private equity firms Crestview Partners II GP, LP and Crestview Advisors, LLC, the case alleges that the defendants took advantage of the outdoor retailer’s initial public offering in October 2016 in order to “cash out a share of their massive holdings in Camping World.” Following the IPO, the executives, the suit says, artificially inflated the price of the company’s stock by making a series of false and misleading statements praising the success and profitability of Camping World’s acquisition of bankrupt outdoor retailer Gander Mountain. Contrary to the defendants’ reassurances, however, the Gander Mountain acquisition was allegedly plagued with operational challenges that led to significant delays in opening and stocking stores.
“In truth,” the complaint reads, “Defendants concealed material, negative facts from investors concerning the increased costs and technological incompatibility of integrating high volume, lower-value Gander items into Camping World’s inventory and distribution systems designed for its lower-volume, high-value RV business.”
Unbeknownst to investors, Camping World’s profit margins were being negatively impacted by tens of millions of dollars, the lawsuit says, while the defendants “took advantage of Camping World’s artificially inflated share price” by initiating secondary stock offerings in May and October of 2017. During the offerings, Crestview and Camping World executives allegedly sold millions of shares of company stock, earning a combined total of more than $520 million in gross proceeds.
The truth began to be revealed in February 2018, the case says, when the company announced that it needed to restate its prior financial results due to “material weaknesses in its internal controls.” Camping World thereafter released “disappointing” financial results for the first two quarters of 2018, the lawsuit goes on, and admitted to investors that the Gander Mountain acquisition was fraught with operational challenges that were digging into the retailer’s profit margins.
The price of Camping World Class A common stock reportedly dropped from $47 to $19 per share after the release of the corrective disclosures and, by the time the case was filed, was trading at approximately $11 per share.