Former top banana fires off legal threat to Papyrus board after splitting
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A war of words has broken out between the outgoing managing director and Board of banana veneer maker Papyrus.
The resignation of managing director Allan Branch was announced last week, citing “irreconcilable differences” after just six weeks.
Mr Branch has since fired back, this week claiming he will take the company and the board — with exception of founder Ramy Azer — to court over alleged breach of contract and director’s duties.
The former boss has written to the Papyrus (ASX:PPY) board saying he will commence an action in the Federal Court seeking damages of upwards of $2.8 million for alleged loss of potential equity, salary and related rewards as well as loss of reputation, tainted image and loss of potential future earnings.
“Have no doubt about my resolve in this matter and I will invite any aggrieved shareholders to join me in the action,” Mr Branch wrote in a letter to the board on Tuesday.
There was no mention of the legal threat in the chairman’s address to the Papyrus AGM on Wednesday.
Chairman Ted Byrt outlined the chronology of Mr Branch’s involvement with the company, saying the resignation was in the best interests of Papyrus.
“Dr Branch initiated discussions with at least two promoters of purportedly new technologies and potential enterprises which he wanted to collaborate with Papyrus Australia. One of those new technologies was the same as he presented to the company in 2015,” he said.
“Dr. Branch submitted business proposals to the board about which the board sought further information and, in particular, about which I believed further validation be undertaken. Dr. Branch did not accept my intervention and he resigned.”
Mr Byrt told the AGM that finding appropriate executive support would be addressed as a priority.
Papyrus continues to attempt to commercialise its banana veneer technology to make paper, packaging, furniture and even building materials.
Over the course of the year key investors in the company have contributed more than $102,000.