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Kerr and Barnes battle it out over sale of Perpetual Trust

Thursday, October 1st 2015, 10:57AM

George Kerr's Pyne Gould Corporation says it is suing Bath Street Capital and its owner Andrew Barnes for at least $22 million, plus interest, over the sale of Perpetual Trust.

PGC says it has started High Court proceedings as it has not been paid. “The amount claimed represents unpaid consideration in respect of carry rights pursuant to the share sale agreement as subsequently varied.”

Bath Street Capital (BSC) confirms that it is aware of PGC’s announcement, but has not yet received a statement of claim for an amount of $22 million (plus interest and costs) that PGC alleges it is owed under a termination of agreements and carry agreement entered into with BSC on 4 April 2014.

“In the event that we receive a statement of claim from PGC, we will absolutely refute it," BSC says in a statement. "The carry agreement between the parties was for a carry payment to be paid to PGC by BSC if shares in a subsidiary company (“NewCo”) were listed on the Main Board operated by NZX Limited.

“The amount of the carry payment was not fixed, and would be up to $22 million depending upon the price/earnings multiple at which NewCo might be listed. 

“Whilst NewCo has continued to evaluate listing there is absolutely no obligation to list by a particular date under the carry agreement with PGC.
 
“The carry agreement represents the sole agreement between the parties, and PGC has always been well aware of this.”

BSC director Andrew Barnes says, “In my view, the action announced yesterday is purely opportunistic. We will robustly defend this matter, and look forward to presenting our case in court. It will at least provide us with an opportunity to publicise the precise terms of the carry agreement with PGC.

“It will also allow us to move past the significant uncertainty and reputational damage caused by PGC’s accounting for this highly disputed amount in its 2014 accounts and various related market pronouncements. We understand there has been significant regulatory interest in this accounting treatment, and believe this may be a primary motivator for PGC bringing this action at this time. We have our own issues in relation to PGC's recent conduct and we are looking closely at potential counterclaims with our lawyers.”

Tags: PGC

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