Next chapter writ in e-commerce split

E-COMMERCE and web developer IPT Systems Ltd has lodged writs in the WA Supreme Court claiming $800,000 the company had placed in a third party trust account.

IPT is suing Quadrant Management Pty Ltd, a management company associated with former IPT director Vladimir “Roger” Nikolaenko, Plato Mining Pty Ltd and law firm Steinepreis Paganin, which administers the third party account, for the return of the funds.

But, despite the lodgement of the writs, both IPT and Quadrant say they are holding amicable discussions in an effort to resolve their differences

IPT managing director Ronald Moir said the writ issued by IPT was simply a case of “following the system”.

“It’s simply something you do as part of good corporate governance to protect shareholder value,” he said.

“Both parties are committed to resolving this in the most expeditious manner for us and our shareholders.”

The suit relates to IPT’s attempts to sever connections with Quadrant and to become a pure technology company by incorporating a wholly owned subsidiary company, Newco Mining NL, subscribing for $500,000 worth of shares in Newco, and selling its mining assets to Newco.

IPT reached agreement with Mr Nikolaenko that he was to appoint the directors of Newco.

IPT also was to pay $100,000 to partly settle its management contract with Quadrant, and another $200,000 to settle the management agreement if Newco listed on the Australian Stock Exchange by today, February 28 2002. Each of these actions was subject to IPT shareholder approval.

On November 15 2001, however, Quadrant requested a series of variations to the Newco Transaction Agreement – firstly, that $300,000 be released to Quadrant and $500,000 to Newco, and secondly, that Newco be permitted to consider alternatives to listing on the ASX.

Earlier this month, Quadrant changed its request, asking instead for the early release to Quadrant of just $100,000, and that Newco be entitled to pursue either an IPO or an alternative proposal resulting in the issue of listed securities to Newco shareholders.

But, on the basis that IPT could see no benefit in the arrangement for its share-holders, the company knocked back the proposal and requested that Steinepreis Paganin release the total of $800,000 (plus interest) to it.

Mr Moir said that, while the companies had had their differences in the past, both groups now were keen for a resolution to be reached.

He said he would be surprised if the discussions were not resolved to the benefit of shareholders of IPT and Quadrant.


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