Powerhouse wins injunction against founders of its SolarBright business
Powerhouse has won an injunction from the High Court of New Zealand to prevent the founders of its SolarBright solar lighting venture from selling the company’s intellectual property.
Powerhouse (ASX:PVL) alleges the couple sought to transfer transfer intellectual property out of the company before they resigned.
“On 21 December 2017, Nicola Martin resolved to sell SolarBright intellectual property to Pat Martin without obtaining shareholder consent,” Powerhouse alleged in a letter to investors on Thursday.
Mr and Mrs Martin resigned from the company they founded 12 years ago in January.
They are alleging mismanagement by Powerhouse and accused the investor of having “drained the blood” out of the company, according to New Zealand newspaper the NBR.
Powerhouse owns 33 per cent of Solarbright, which designs solar-powered LED lighting.
Mr Martin told the newspaper that while Solarbright was short of cash, they couldn’t find investors willing to put money in while Powerhouse was still involved. He said they offered to buy out Powerhouse, but were refused.
Mr and Mrs Martin have been contacted for comment.
Powerhouse CEO Paul Viney told Stockhead an approach was made late last year “which had no substance and was not of interest to Powerhouse”.
Powerhouse is trying to sell the company’s IP and says they have indications of interest which they’ll follow through with once it’s recovered the SolarBright IP.
Mr Viney says that in his view, SolarBrght doesn’t have the financial capacity to continue developing its solar lighting products if it doesn’t secure a sale of the IP.
Powerhouse says their resignations left the company without any board members, but it has rectified the situation by installing Murray Spackman and John Walley.
The listed investor has had a bad run with its investee companies.
It’s selling Motim for $US5 million in a largely scrip deal to Crosstech Partners, a US company which was founded in 1992 but does not have a website.
Hydroworks was put into liquidation last year.
An IPO of CropLogic has failed to fly, with shares closing on Thursday at 7.8c — a far cry from the 20c listing price.
And last year saw the resignations of key executives at Veritide, Fluent Scientific and Invert Robotics.
”We fully understand [the] remaining skepticism. We intend to counter this with good results going forward and we believe the market will see the embedded value in our portfolio and spot the buying opportunity that has opened up with our share price in the mid 20 cents range and NTA at 50 cents plus.,” Mr Viney said.