Spark New Zealand owned data centre company Revera is at the centre of a commission fee scandal, with an aggrieved former consultant seeking $3.1 million in alleged unpaid fees.
Hired in a consultancy role amidst the potential sale of the business to HP New Zealand in 2007, Wellington-based consultancy Prophecy Networks director Wilhelmus Giesbers claims Revera, then Rock Group, has so far failed to pay commission fees following his work.
According to reports by Business Desk, Giesbers was hired in 2007 to provide restructuring advice and preparation for a possible sale, with was subsequently canned in early 2008.
“Under the contract, Giesbers would be paid $25,000 if the highest bid was below $20 million, or if no bids were received, while anything above that would earn a commission,” Business Desk reports. “The fee hasn't been paid.”
Revera, which was subsequently purchased for $96.5 million in 2014 by Spark, told Wellington High Court that while the company was not disputing Giesbers’ claim to his $25,000 base fee, they objected to a larger commission fee relating to the eventual sale of the company six years layer.
Branding Giesbers’ commission claim with regards to the Spark deal as “commercial absurd”, Revera’s lawyer James Craig told the court Giesbers’ work for the company ended in November 2007, leaving his no claim to further payments.
Arguing for Giesbers, lawyer Colin Carruthers claims Giesbers’ contract was never terminated by the company, which as Business Desk reports, “was still in force at the time Spark, then Telecom Corp, acquired the business.”
The trial continues.