20/12/2013 - 12:33

Empire sues former directors

20/12/2013 - 12:33

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Empire Oil & Gas' new management team has taken the company's former directors to court in a bid to recover funds used to bankroll defamation proceedings against Empire shareholders.

Newly elected Empire directors Tony Iannello (left) and Brett Heading. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Empire Oil & Gas' new management team has taken the company's former directors to court in a bid to recover funds used to bankroll defamation proceedings against Empire shareholders.

Empire is claiming $441,632 from former directors Craig Marshall and Neil Joyce and current Empire director Bevan Warris, filing a writ in the WA Supreme Court.

The dispute is centred on Empire paying legal fees incurred by the former directors for personal defamation actions against Empire shareholders in relation to posts made on internet discussion sites.

Empire alleges the former directors contravened several sections of the Corporations Act and breached their fiduciary duties in relation to these payments.

Messrs Marshall and Joyce and fellow director Jeff MacDonald stood down from the Empire board last month after a long-running stoush with major shareholder ERM Power.

Shareholders voted in favour of the election of ERM representatives Tony Iannello and Brett Heading as directors of the company at Empire's annual general meeting, with Mr Warris the only continuing director.

The new Empire board plans to recruit two new independent directors, one of whom would become chairman, and a new chief executive.

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