Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ex-Greenstar boss being countersued for over $100m

Waste firm Greenstar has settled its lawsuit
Waste firm Greenstar has settled its lawsuit
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The former boss of Greenstar's US business is being countersued for at least $100m (€77m) by the waste company amid allegations he attempted to push through a $420m (€325m) sale of the unit for "personal gain".

In what's shaping up to be an extremely bitter legal showdown in Texas, NTR's Greenstar division in the United States has alleged that Matthew Delnick also made "unfounded derogatory comments" about NTR chief executive Michael McNicholas. The firm claims he made the comments to a "former NTR official who no longer had any legal affiliation with the company".

The counterclaim by Greenstar comes after Mr Delnick launched a $15m (€12m) suit against the company in August.

Appointed chief executive of Greenstar's US arm in 2010, he was fired last February.

He has claimed he would have been due the multi-million dollar payout had the company been sold.

Mr Delnick has alleged that NTR rebuffed an offer from the largest waste operator in the US Waste Management to buy the Greenstar business in the US for as much as $420m following a review of the business.

Mr Delnick claims that Mr McNicholas and other NTR executives commented that they'd have to look for new jobs if the Greenstar sale went ahead.

"The NTR board's decision not to pursue a sale of Greenstar was based on concerns for the future of NTR and their own positions and not on the best interests of NTR shareholders," Mr Delnick has claimed.

Receivership

The US Greenstar business is unconnected structurally to NTR's Greenstar operation in Ireland, which was placed in receivership in August with debts of €83m. In a heavily redacted defence and counterclaim prepared by Greenstar's US arm, the company denies allegations made by Mr Delnick.

It's also livid that Mr Delnick released publicly in filings with his claim what Greenstar says was confidential information regarding its operations.

It alleges that he "deliberately and maliciously disclosed highly confidential information on the public record and with no prior notice to Greenstar".

It argues that the disclosures caused Greenstar "substantial monetary damages and irreparable harm".

The company also maintains that Mr Delnick had boosted his interest in the firm's long-term incentive plan (LTIP), which would have resulted in him being paid a portion of proceeds from a sale of the business had he still been employed there if such an event occurred.

Greenstar alleges Mr Delnick boosted his share of the LTIP "without authorisation of the Greenstar board". It further alleges Mr Delnick sought to conceal his "unauthorised actions".

It also claims Mr Delnick attempted to undermine Mr McNicholas "by making unfounded derogatory comments to third parties about Mr McNicholas's performance".

Mr McNicholas -- a former ESB troubleshooter -- was appointed chief executive at NTR last year, replacing Jim Barry, who is now chief investment officer at the renewable power unit at investment firm Blackrock.

Michael McNicholas: NTR chief executive

Irish Independent

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