Following an attempt by the company’s new owners to force him to sell his remaining shareholding at an unacceptable price, the founder of digital currency exchange Bitstamp is suing the company he founded.
In response to the company’s push to sell the remaining shares for “significantly” less than their current market value, founder and former CEO Nejc Kodri filed an action in London’s High Court of Justice to prevent the company from forcing his hand.
The lawsuit, filed on August 12, concerns a call option exercised by Bitstamp Holdings NV, which would compel Kodri to sell for $13.46 million. On the other hand, the founder claims that this price is significantly lower than the current value of the shares and has asked the court to stop the move, which would force him to hand over his remaining 9.8 percent stake in the company.
Following Bitstamp’s acquisition by investment firm NXMH in October 2018, Kodri sold two-thirds of his shares. He was retained as CEO of the exchange for an additional two years following the sale.
However, after acquiring the exchange, the court papers reveal new owners’ plans to take the exchange public, replace Kodri as CEO, and prevent him from becoming chairman.
Julian Sawyer, Bitstamp’s current CEO, described the situation as a private disagreement between two of the company’s largest shareholders.
- “Bitstamp’s two major shareholders – NXMH and Nejc Kodrič – have a private shareholder matter which is being worked through. As a major player in the crypto world these types of discussions often reach the public arena.”
According to the facts of the case, Kodri sought assurances that the call option would not be exercised following the acquisition after NXMH attempted to go public.
The case will now be heard in London to determine whether Kodri must sell his remaining stake in the company.