NextEra Energy, Inc.

Jastram v. NextEra Energy, Inc., et al., (Case No. 9:23-cv-80833), S.D. Fla.

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Beginning in December 2021, media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald, began reporting that FPL and political consulting firm, Matrix LLC had potentially violated state and federal campaign finance laws by using a network of nonprofits to steer funding to spoiler “ghost candidates” to derail the campaign efforts of unfriendly legislators seeking reelection to Florida state offices in 2020. Later reports alleged that FPL also spied on journalists following unsupportive reporting, improperly courted public officials with job offers while bidding to privatize certain public utilities, and FPL executives knowingly approved of Matrix’s dirty tricks to benefit the Company.

For more than a year, FPL denied these allegations, while executives and top corporate officers at NextEra falsely claimed that the alleged political misconduct orchestrated by FPL did not expose the Company to any meaningful legal or reputational risk based on an internal investigation. NextEra later acknowledged the opposite when FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy abruptly resigned, and the Company included a new risk disclosure in its SEC filings explicitly addressing the issue on January 25, 2023.

On this news, NEE’s stock dropped $7.31 per share, or about 8.7%, representing a loss of approximately $15 billion in market capitalization on unusually high trading volume on January 25, 2023.

NextEra Energy stock continued to drop over the next several trading days, until, on January 31, 2023, the Florida Times Union reported that NextEra executives disclosed that Silagy’s exit agreement included a multi-year “claw back on compensation for any legal wrongdoing” tacitly acknowledging the link between Silagy’s departure and the new risk disclosure statement.

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