business purchase law – alleged misuse of confidential information

Barclays are fighting a business purchase law case in the London High Court for the alleged misuse of confidential information in 2010 to takeover Tricorona, a Swedish carbon trading company.

CF Partners, who are a UK advisory and trading firm claim to have gone to Barclays in September 2008 to discuss whether the British bank could provide financing for a deal with Tricorona, a Stockholm company with a portfolio of carbon credits in the area of hydro power projects.

In their business purchase law case which was filed in the High Court October 2011, CF Partners allege that when their deal with Tricorona stalled, Barclays used CF’s work to pursue its own deal with the Swedish company. In July 2010, Barclays paid £98 million for a 85 per cent stake in Tricorona.

Discussions with Tricorona and Barclays, as a potential lender and adviser, collapsed in November 2008, according to the claim. CF claim they remained committed to pursuing a transaction but they did not signed a formal letter of engagement with the British bank. Their claims states “CF Partners provided Barclays with a single, composite piece of information, namely the fact that Tricorona was an attractive and available takeover/purchase prospect”.

CF issued a statement saying “We have never taken legal action before and have only commenced litigation after very serious consideration,” CF further added “We have instigated these proceedings only after attempts to directly resolve the matter and having taken detailed advice from external counsel.”

Barclays said CF’s business purchase law case was “without merit” and is to be contested “vigorously” by the bank. “Barclays had no contractual relationship with CF Partners and did not enter into any advisory mandate,” the bank said.

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