RLX Technology is facing a class-action lawsuit started by an investor who claims the Chinese e-cigarette manufacturer overstated its financials and misrepresented potential regulatory risks when it filed the paperwork for its initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S.
The lawsuit, submitted Wednesday by shareholder Alex Garnett in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges RLX’s registration statement from last October omitted the impact of ongoing efforts by Chinese regulators to tighten sales of electronic cigarettes, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.
The case is captioned Garnett v. RLX Technology Inc., No. 21-cv-05125, and is assigned to Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. The RLX Technology class-action lawsuit charges that the company, certain members of its officers and directors, and the underwriters of its IPO with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.
Companies under rules established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have to disclose any known events or uncertainties that at the time of an IPO caused or were likely to not represent future earnings. RLX stock fell sharply in March after Chinese authorities announced their intent to more heavily regulate the Chinese vapor market. Garnett filed the lawsuit on behalf of other RLX investors.
The lawsuit alleges investors purchased RLX shares at artificially inflated prices, in part because the company omitted and misrepresented information in the registration statement. As the stock price dropped, RLX investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars, the lawsuit states.
At least two other law firms in recent weeks said they are investigating on behalf of investors to determine whether RLX failed to disclose relevant information to investors. Rosen Law Firm and Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, among others, are reportedly seeking RLX investors who want to join the class-action suit.
RLX on June 2 reported revenue of CNY2.4 billion ($366.1 million), for the quarter ended March 31, up from CNY368.6 million the prior-year period. The company booked a net loss of CNY267 million, compared with a profit of CNY12.1 million during the prior-year quarter.