Monday 11 December 2017

Electric Picnic wishes Reynolds well as row settled

John Reynolds, former promoter of Electric Picnic
John Reynolds, former promoter of Electric Picnic

Tim Healy

A COMPANY run by music promoter John Reynolds has settled its legal action over the operation of the Electric Picnic.

Mr Reynolds alleged he was excluded by a company called Festival Republic Dublin (FRD) from a range of issues concerning handling of the event.

The issue of liability in the case was listed for an eight-day hearing before Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court yesterday.

But after some discussions between the sides, the judge was told the full action had been settled.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

The judge granted an application by Martin Hayden SC, for Mr Reynolds, to adjourn the case to June 3 for mention only so as to allow for implementation of the settlement. Maurice Collins SC, for FRD, said it was expected the full proceedings would be struck out.

Afterwards, Electric Picnic organisers said they were "pleased to report that an agreement has been reached between POD Music and Festival Republic Dublin".

They added: "Festival Republic Dublin would like to thank John Reynolds for his contribution to the successful development of Electric Picnic and wish him well for the future."

Mr Reynolds' company, POD Music Ltd, brought the action against FRD – which had in 2009 spent €4.2m on acquiring a 71pc stake in EP Festivals Ltd, a subsidiary of POD Music.

Mr Reynolds alleged breach of a March 2009 shareholders' agreement concerning the Picnic, and oppression of his company's interests.

He claimed he had founded the Picnic in 2004 but was not being allowed to operate the festival as envisaged, and that was causing considerable hardship and risk to POD Music.

He claimed management decisions made by Melvin Benn of FRD, relating to the 2012 and 2013 picnics, were damaging to POD Music, and were to the benefit of the FRD Group. Mr Reynolds also claimed he was kept out of volume discounting on sales of tickets and lost out as a result.

His side estimated a discounting sum of €450,000 was involved over the five Electric Picnics between 2009 and 2013 and Mr Reynolds claimed the discount payments had a direct impact on the value of his shareholding.

FRD alleged Mr Reynolds had been engaging in a deliberately obstructive pattern of behaviour and was seeking to have his shares bought out at "grossly inflated prices".

It denied Mr Reynolds was excluded from managing the Picnic or that the FRD Group's controlling companies had merely sought to make the Picnic part of their stable of festivals and outdoor events.

Irish Independent

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