Menu
Shareholders at war after Eftpos Vending liquidation

Shareholders at war after Eftpos Vending liquidation

High Court hears preliminary arguments over ownership of a cashless vending business and its technology

Ownership of a cashless vending business and software are in dispute

Ownership of a cashless vending business and software are in dispute

Credit: Dreamstime

Shareholders and others are warring over ownership of the assets of a cashless vending start-up after a related company went into liquidation last year.

Convendium was the developer of the technology while Eftpos Vending, the licensee, was placed into liquidation last April. Convendium was removed from the Companies Register in November and then reinstated.

The first liquidators' report on Eftpos Vending stated that questions were raised over ownership of the right to many of the vending sites and of the software operating systems in the machines.

"The liquidator decided to keep trading the company until these problems could be resolved," the report stated. "To have ceased the business at the commencement of liquidation would have resulted in major losses on sale of the equipment, together with storage and moving costs."

Convendium founder and director Paul Monnery and Julie Monnery are also suing a range of parties over those ownership issues, according to High Court judgment released in December.

They allege each of the defendants, mostly fellow shareholders and investors but also developers, intentionally caused the plaintiffs economic harm by unlawful means and were complicit in a conspiracy to injure their interests.

One defendant, Sandfield Associates, developed software for Convendium, ownership of which is at the heart of the dispute. With the support of other defendants it has asserted ownership of the software, the judgment added.

The plaintiffs allege Eftpos Vending made changes the vending machines it operated to divert Convendium's share of the revenues to Eftpos and other entities and further diverted revenues from Eftpos to deny any benefit to the plaintiffs.

Also at issue is ownership of a cashless laundry solution developed jointly by Convendium and Speed Queen.

The judgment says the defendants claim ownership pursuant to contractual arrangements and because Convendium did not pay for the software.

They say they were motivated not by any intention to harm Convendium (in which several of the defendants were themselves shareholders) or to harm the plaintiffs but to protect their investments and "salvage what they could".

The judgment noted that the plaintiffs’ claim faces significant difficulties in establishing intention to cause harm and that the plaintiffs acted together to do so.

"Such evidence as is before the Court at this stage suggests that Convendium was obliged to pay for the software before it could claim ownership, and it is quite clear that it did not do so," it says. "None of that is to say that the plaintiffs’ case is doomed to fail."

They may be able to establish that one or more of the defendants formed the necessary intention and caused the plaintiffs economic harm. Further, the conspiracy cause of action does not necessarily require unlawful action on the part of any conspirators.

There is also scope for aspects of the case to be recast as it proceeds and for new evidence to emerge.

The defendants went to court asking for security of costs totalling $125,000 in the event the plaintiffs lose their case. The High Court in Wellington ordered $50,000 in security be paid in two tranches when and if the case proceeds.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags EftposPaymentscashlessvendingConvendiumEftpos Vending

Featured

Slideshows

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 500 technology leaders in Auckland on 21 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards
Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments