A legal dispute rages between the majority owner and the previous CEO over a 9.8% interest in the Bitstamp digital currency exchange. In court, a South Korean billionaire who bought the exchange three years ago has retaliated against the former CEO, denying that they ever reached an agreement that prevented him from seeking the remaining 9.8% interest at a bargain.
Bitstamp Holdings NV, a $3 billion investment company, owned by NXMH, purchased a majority share in Bitstamp in October 2018. Nejc Kodri, the exchange’s founder and CEO at the time, possessed a 9.8% share in the company. He was fired from his job two years later, and he filed a case against the new owners last month.
According to CoinGeek, Kodri claims that the new owner is attempting to force him to sell his position at a price “substantially below the current value of the shares.” In his complaint, which he filed in London’s High Court of Justice, he claimed that NXMH was pressuring him to sell the stock for $13.46 million.
NXMH has now retaliated against the former CEO. The corporation argues in its petition that at the time of acquisition, it signed a deal with Kodri to acquire his shares at a discount based on a call option they negotiated at the time.
In a filing, Kodri alleged that Hendrick Ghys, appointed to the Bitstamp board by NXMH after the acquisition, assured him that the options would not be exercised while the exchange pushed for an IPO at a $1 billion price. As a result, the world learned for the first time that the exchange was planning to go public, despite the current CEO dismissing an IPO as a “hazardous distraction” in June.
In their reaction, NXMH refuted these assertions. It informed the court that this didn’t give Kodri any such assurances and that he wasn’t entitled to do so.
The South Korean gaming mogul Jung-Ju Kim has also denied that it advised the former CEO that he was crucial to any IPO efforts.
NXMH is attempting to compel Kodri to sell the shares or sue for damages equal to the value of the shares.