Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware remains in operation following a bruising quarter of a billion dollar battle over control of translation services company TransPerfect.
The group issued a release on TransPerfect that reported on a speech by Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager, Chris Coffey to employees of the company. The group was formed during the dispute between 50-50 owners Phil Shawe and Liz Elting.
Shawe prevailed and bought out Eltng’s share but moved TransPerfect’s state of incorporation to Nevada. Elting’s objections were rejected by the state Supreme Court.
Delaware Chancery Court appointed a custodian for the company as the dispute continued, drawing the ire of Shawe.
According to Coffey says the legal climate poses an “existential threat” to TransPerfect and other businesses.
“We may have won the biggest battle over TransPerfect in Delaware, but if history has taught us anything – it’s that the same court agents and lawyers who made millions of dollars coming after TransPerfect are not going to stop now,” stated Coffey.
He continued, “That is why our members have asked us to keep organizing and fighting and that’s what we intend to do. From meeting with elected officials to educating the public through a new campaign, we will ensure the Delaware government cannot be used to improperly occupy successful companies against the wishes of a majority of shareholders. This case cost $250 million, and two years later, virtually all of the records and itemized bills in this case are still under seal. The public deserves to know what these documents say, and why courts are so intent on hiding them. The employees banded together to save this company from the Courts, and they deserve to why and how this money ordered paid by the Chancery was spent and who benefited.”
While a bill calling for a cooling off period during 50-50 ownership disputes was not passed by the Delaware General Assembly, Coffey said an advertising effort and an endorsement of the plan by the News Journal represented a victory that “ultimately saved a successful company and thousands of jobs.”
“The court case made completely unsupported claims of ‘dysfunction,’ which were supported by no witnesses, to justify a three-year occupation of the company by lawyers connected to the Chancery Court,” said TransPerfect, chief revenue officer, Kevin Obarski. “But in the end, employees banded together to save the company, and we fended off a government-engineered hostile takeover attempt that would have cost thousands of United States jobs. Thank you to Chris Coffey and the bold action of CPBD leadership, staff and members for helping make this moment possible.”
“The fight is not over, the cottage industry of lawyers, consultants, and other ‘friends’ of the court feeding off of TransPerfect to the tune of millions and millions of dollars has not ceased. The court continues to improperly use its power to seal documents to prevent the public from gaining access to the bills -yet, it is ordering those bills to be paid to this very day,” Coffey stated.
“We will not stop our quest to protect TransPerfect employees and their families from all threats, including those from the Delaware judiciary and its agents,” Coffey stated. “Skadden Arps recently reached a $4.6 million settlement with the United States Department of Justice for running afoul of foreign agent laws in a case involving Ukraine and Paul Manafort, but yet the Chancery Court ordered TransPerfect to pay Skadden five times the amount for their “help” running the company. None of our hundreds of members at the company understand what this $25 million was for, or how it was spent. They deserve answers.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 2,700 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as residents, business executives and others, the release stated.