Forward sale of shares haunts lottery company
A bankruptcy filing by a former director of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has resulted in the gaming and lottery company been named in a lawsuit filed in Florida courts by two offshore registered investment firms.
SVL said Tuesday that the parties are trying to relitigate an issue that has already been settled by the Jamaican courts in the lottery company's favour.
SVL disclosed Tuesday that it has been named as a defendant in the suit brought by Talisman Capital Alternative Investment Fund Limited, a workout lender, and EGE Limited, a special purpose vehicle created to own stocks and shares. Both companies are registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Brian George, chief executive officer of SVL, said it was a little early to elaborate on the implications of the lawsuit.
"We got notice of this recently and did our duty of advising the Stock Exchange. We have retained a US lawyer to evaluate and advise us on the matter, which is now in process," said George.
SVL and its founding directors were first sued by EGE - then Epsilon Global Equities Limited - back in December 2008. The company claimed then that SVL reneged on an agreement for the forward sale of shares to Epsilon reached prior to a private placement done by the lottery company in mid-2005, and that the lottery company was also indebted to it.
SVL later went public early in 2006.
Supreme Ventures countered that it had discharged the debt on October 31, 2005 from funds raised from the private placement. Confident of victory, the company made no provisions for the lawsuit.
SVL did not say how the bankruptcy filing by Paul G. Mouttet, a former director of SVL who resigned from the board in June 2007, could have been used to reimplicate the company.
George said he would make no declarations until a full assessment has been done by the company's US legal team and its auditors.
SVL's filing to the Jamaica Stock Exchange was dismissive of Talisman's and EGE's claims, which it said were without merit.
"This suit makes several claims against SVL in connection with Mr Paul Mouttet that SVL finds baseless," said the SVL statement.
"The connected suit by EGE Limited (previously known as Epsilon Global Equities) is an attempt by EGE to retry a matter related to two forward sale of shares agreements between the founding shareholders of SVL and Epsilon Global Master Fund and several Epsilon related entities."
The initial court case was decided by Justice Jones on January 21, 2011. Epsilon's application for an injunction pending the hearing of an appeal of Jones' ruling was denied on November 18, 2011 by Justice Harris of the Jamaican Appeal Court, said SVL.
The lottery company said it expects to be as successful defending against the lawsuit in Florida and it was in the Jamaican courts.
SVL's founders include Paul Hoo, SVL chairman, Ian Levy, and the late Peter Stewart, whose widow Janette Stewart now controls his holdings.
SVL is now owned 49 per cent by Greek company Intralot Caribbean Ventures Limited.