Watson ordered to pay Sir Owen Glenn $50m
Embattled businessman Eric Watson has been ordered to pay fellow NBR Rich Lister Sir Owen Glenn nearly $50 million following a court case in the UK.
The case involved a joint venture between Sir Owen and Mr Watson in 2012 called Project Spartan. Sir Owen invested £129 million ($248m) in three instalments through a company known as Kea Investments.
Last month the London High Court ruled Mr Watson had obtained Sir Owen’s investment in Spartan by fraudulent misrepresentation, despite their former friendship.
In a statement released this morning, Sir Owen says Mr Watson has been ordered to make an interim payment in relation to claims for equitable compensation of £25,259,986.49 ($NZ49.4m) by September 27.
While Mr Watson initially indicated he would appeal the court judgment, Sir Owen’s statement said that at a hearing earlier this month, Mr Watson “made clear that he does not wish to appeal.”
Sir Owen intends seeking further compensation.
"This is a complex process that will take some months to complete. The interim payment represents only part of what is due. I am totally determined to pursue Mr Watson to the ends of the earth – if necessary taking action against his trusts and third parties holding assets on his behalf – to ensure he pays every penny that is due."
The court judgment, handed down by Justice Christopher Nugee, found Mr Watson offered unlawful inducements to Kea’s director during the negotiation of the joint venture, and that Mr Watson knew that two loan agreements signed by Kea’s director were executed in breach of a court injunction.
“In the course of the events with which the trial is concerned [Mr Watson] resorted to deliberate deception; and that he not only did so himself but also recruited those who worked with him to do so as well.”
Kea had already been repaid £130.6 million, including £80m from a settlement agreement with Mr Watson’s Novatrust.
However, Kea claimed to have suffered damage of £52.28m as a consequence of the use of its funds.
Sir Owen says there will be a further hearing in November.