Ketchum International Incorporated has settled its dispute with Group
PR, ending a two-and-a-half year legal wrangle.
The row centres on Ketchum’s purchase of a 40 per cent stake in Group in
1991. Under the terms of the deal Ketchum agreed to buy the remaining
Group shares in March 1994 for pounds 2.6 million.
But in September 1993 and again in July 1994 Ketchum International
Incorporated, which represents Ketchum investments outside the US,
issued writs against Group’s founders Chris O’Donoghue and Pamela Poe
following a dispute over share dividends.
As a result of the first action Ketchum failed to buy the remaining
Group shares, prompting a counter writ by O’Donoghue and Poe in April
1994. The three claims were rolled into one action which went to court
in November 1995.
Taking into account the dividend dispute, the High Court ruled last
Friday that Ketchum should now pay pounds 2.25 million for the remaining
60 per cent of Group. The decision means that the agency, which has
traded as Ketchum PR since 1993, will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of
the Ketchum network.
‘I think the court reached an equitable decision and it’s good to have
that out of the way,’ said Ketchum Europe managing director Jerry