Metropolitan Capital Advisors and BLB&G Announce That Litigation Compels Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation to Terminate Improper Loan
Metropolitan Capital Advisors International Ltd. (“Metropolitan”), together with its counsel, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (“BLB&G”) today announced that Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (“Acquisition”) and Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (“Holdings”) have terminated a loan agreement whereby Acquisition committed to provide Holdings with a $50 million revolving credit facility (the “Loan”). The Court set a hearing for May 12 to consider Metropolitan’s request to enjoin any drawdown of the loan pending a trial to invalidate it completely. As a result of the termination of the Loan, this hearing is no longer needed.
The termination of the loan comes two weeks after BLB&G commenced a lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York on behalf of Metropolitan and its co-founder Jeffery E. Schwarz. The lawsuit alleged that Loan was a scheme to allow Holdings to effectively transfer $50 million from Acquisition, as the Loan was issued on terms grossly below market rates and with illusory collateral, and that Holdings breached its fiduciary duties as Acquisition’s controlling stockholder by causing Acquisition to issue the Loan.
Commenting on the outcome, Mr. Schwarz stated: “I am gratified that the boards of Holdings and Acquisition ultimately heard the voice of Acquisition shareholders and reached the conclusion that was obvious to us from the time of the announcement of the loan agreement—the loan by Acquisition to its distressed parent Holdings was a misguided attempt to transfer tens of millions of dollars of value from Acquisition’s minority shareholders to its corporate parent. I hope going forward that Holdings will treat all shareholders of Acquisition fairly, and that the Acquisition Board will be as concerned for the interests of its public shareholders as it is for those of Holdings.”
BLB&G partner Mark Lebovitch led the firm’s litigation efforts. On the result, Mr. Lebovitch commented: “It is unfortunate that it took Metropolitan’s commencement of a lawsuit and the Court scheduling an injunction hearing for the Boards of Acquisition and Holdings to unwind this conflicted transaction. The loan reflected serious corporate governance shortcomings, as no truly independent director would consider the loan agreement to be fair to Acquisition. This outcome shows the benefits achievable when dedicated shareholders bring smart litigation to challenge disloyal actions by corporate directors.”
About Metropolitan Capital Advisors, Inc.
Founded in 1992, by Jeffrey Schwarz and Karen Finerman, Metropolitan Capital employs an opportunistic approach to value and event investing, with a commitment to shareholder activism.
Since its founding in 1983, BLB&G has built an international reputation for excellence and integrity. Widely recognized as one of the leading law firms worldwide advising institutional investors on securities fraud, corporate governance and shareholders’ rights issues, BLB&G is unique among its peers, having obtained 5 of the 10 largest securities recoveries in history and having recovered over $30 billion on behalf of defrauded investors. The firm has also prosecuted groundbreaking corporate governance litigation related to breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate transactions which violated fair process and fair price, the applicability of the business judgment rule, issues of corporate waste, shareholder voting rights claims, and executive compensation. More information about BLB&G can be found online at www.blbglaw.com.
More information on Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP can be found online at www.blbglaw.com.
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Alexander Coxe, +1-212-554-1423
Marketing and Communications Director
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