NEW YORK, May 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of BurgerFi International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFI, BFIIW), Hesai Group (NASDAQ: HSAI), and Vertex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTNR). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
BurgerFi International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFI, BFIIW)
Class Period: December 17, 2020 - November 15, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 5, 2023
BurgerFi previously operated as a blank-check company, also referred to as a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), which is a development stage company formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, recapitalization, reorganization or other similar business transaction with one or more operating businesses or entities.
On December 17, 2020, the Company announced that it had completed a business combination with BurgerFi International, LLC (“Legacy BurgerFi”), a private Delaware limited liability company touted as “one of the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts” (the “Business Combination”). As a result of the Business Combination, among other things, the Company purchased 100% of the membership interests of Legacy BurgerFi, resulting in Legacy BurgerFi becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, and the Company changed its name to “BurgerFi International, Inc.”
Following the Business Combination, the Company, together with its subsidiaries, has owned and franchised fast-casual and premium-casual dining restaurants.
On November 4, 2021, the Company completed its acquisition of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings (“Anthony’s”) for $156.6 million (the “Anthony’s Acquisition”). Defendant Ophir Sternberg (“Sternberg”), Executive Chairman of the Company, touted the Anthony’s Acquisition as “a significant step forward in BurgerFi’s ongoing growth strategy and transition into a premium multibrand platform.”
Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company had overstated the effectiveness of its acquisition and growth strategies; (ii) the Company had misrepresented to investors the purported benefits of Anthony’s Acquisition and its post-Business Combination business and financial prospects; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On August 11, 2022, during pre-market hours, BurgerFi issued a press release announcing the Company’s second quarter (“Q2”) 2022 results. Among other results, that press release reported Q2 revenue of $45.3 million, missing consensus estimates by $2.28 million. The Company also disclosed that “[n]et loss in the second quarter was $60.4 million compared to a net income of $9.0 million in the year-ago quarter[,]” which “[wa]s primarily the result of goodwill impairment charges of $55.2 million in relation to BurgerFi and Anthony’s coupled with higher depreciation, amortization of intangibles, share-based compensation, interest expense resulting from the acquisition-related debt” (emphases in original).
On this news, BurgerFi’s stock price fell $0.10 per share, or 3.03%, to close at $3.20 per share on August 11, 2022.
Then, on November 16, 2022, during pre-market hours, BurgerFi issued a press release announcing the Company’s third quarter (“Q3”) 2022 results. Among other results, that press release reported Q3 revenue of $43.3 million, missing consensus estimates by $0.84 million, explaining that “[f]or the BurgerFi brand, same-store sales decreased 11% and 6% in corporate owned and franchised locations, respectively” (emphases in original).
On this news, BurgerFi’s stock price fell $0.24 per share, or 10.57%, to close at $2.03 per share on November 16, 2022.
For more information on the BurgerFi class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/BFI
Hesai Group (NASDAQ: HSAI)
Class Period: In connection with Hesai Group’s February 2023 IPO
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 6, 2023
According to the lawsuit, the Registration Statement contained false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Hesai Group’s gross margin decrease was caused by a lower in-house utilization rate; (2) Hesai Group’s gross margin was 30% for the fourth quarter—which was completed over a month before the date of the amended registration statement; and (3) as a result, defendants’ public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times and negligently prepared. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.
For more information on the Hesai class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/HSAI
Vertex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTNR)
Class Period: April 1, 2022 - August 8, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 12, 2023
Vertex Energy is an energy company focused on the production and distribution of conventional and alternative fuels. In early 2021, Vertex Energy announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire an oil refinery located in Mobile, Alabama and a key component of the acquisition was Vertex Energy’s plan to convert a portion of the refinery’s 91,000 barrel-per-day output to renewable diesel fuel, which was expected to generate higher profits than the refinery’s conventional gasoline and diesel fuel outputs.
But as the Vertex Energy class action lawsuit alleges, unbeknownst to investors, immediately prior to the closing of the Mobile acquisition, defendants had entered into, or were a party to, a series of transactions that dramatically capped the new plant’s profitability and would, in fact, lead to significant losses immediately following the acquisition. These transactions, which in some instances were required pursuant to the financing arrangements Vertex Energy had entered into, resulted in over $125 million in losses during the Class Period.
On August 9, 2022, Vertex Energy disclosed a net loss of $63.8 million during the second quarter of 2022. Vertex Energy also revealed that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) for the Mobile refinery, even after adjusting for certain incurred losses, was only $63.6 million, compared to the guidance given just three months prior for EBITDA of $120-$130 million in the second quarter, a total shortfall of 50%. Vertex Energy also withdrew its financial guidance for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023. On this news, the price of Vertex Energy common stock fell by approximately 44%, damaging investors. The stock price continued to fall in subsequent days as the market digested the news, reaching a low of just $7.05 per share on August 11, 2022, roughly 50% below the closing price on August 8, 2022.
For more information on the Vertex Energy class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/VTNR
About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.