AIC takes Verticast to court
Michael Lee-Chin Oliver McIntosh.

THE Michael Lee-Chin-controlled AIC (Barbados) Limited is taking Verticast Media Group Limited to court over claims related to breach of contract in its latest legal battle.

The case was initially heard on March 1 by Justice S Jackson Haisley wherein an application for permission to serve outside jurisdiction was sought under case number SU2023CD00055. The case was heard again on June 19 in chambers where an application for summary judgement was sought.

The amended claim form submitted by AIC listed six actions it was seeking against Verticast based on a breach of a share sale agreement dated March 14, 2022. These include damages for breach of contract in the sum of US$800,000 ($124.03 million) and interest to be paid on that amount at the US three-month treasury bill rate plus 3.0 per cent per month from February 1, 2023, until payment.

Also, US$2 million ($310.07 million) is being sought under breach of contract, with interest to be paid at a commercial rate pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act at a rate that the court may determine. Costs and any other relief as the court may deem fit was listed as well. The form was signed by Shamena Khan who is listed as managing director of AIC, with Patterson Mair Hamilton listed as the attorneys for AIC.

The case is being heard in the commercial division of the Supreme Court of Jamaica, with Samuda and Johnson listed as the law firm representing the defendant in the June hearing of the matter.

The only publicly known business deal between both entities is related to the sale of CVM Television Limited by AIC to Verticast, which was announced last September. AIC acquired the majority interest in the CVM Communications Group in 2006 from Neville Blythe's UGI Group.

When the Jamaica Observer reached out to Verticast President and Chief Executive Officer Oliver McIntosh about the matter he said that there was no comment to be made at this time.

McIntosh was the former CEO of International Media Content (IMC) Limited which owned Sports Max Limited. McIntosh stepped down as CEO of Sports Max Limited in June 2021 before moving to get Verticast off the ground in 2022. Verticast later acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League (EPL) for the next three seasons, with some EPL games being broadcasted on CVM. This deal covered the Caribbean which spans about 26 countries.

AIC also had its second court hearing against Medical Associates Limited on June 23 which was heard by Justice David Batts. The hearing was for an application for injunction. The Gleaner reported in prior articles that the case is related to shares under a loan agreement. The case was first heard on May 5 for interim orders, with case number SU2023CD00098.

Medical Associates was sold to Caribbean Health Systems Limited in late February, which is controlled by First Rock Real Estate Investments Limited, Health Ventures Limited, and Novamed Inc.

These court cases are the latest developments for AIC whose Chairman Michael Lee-Chin is now reorganising his largest asset, the NCB Financial Group, to make it more efficient.

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