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 U.S. +1.407.788.2780     Europe +49.89.6.214.6044 info@aimgroup.com

An unusual litigation between Norwegian Media Company Polaris Media and its former corporate lawyer Trond Vernegg is taking place in Oslo.

Polaris Media has sued Trond Vernegg for a loss of of up to NOK115 million ($12.7 million U.S.) because of mishandling a deal with Schibsted when Polaris Media sold 0.13 percent of marketplace Finn.no for NOK15 million ($1.8 million U.S. when the deal was made).

The deal made Schibsted ownership pass the threshold of 90 percent, which meant that it could take out contributions from Finn and send it over to other daughter companies that were run with losses without paying tax. As an owner of just under 90 percent, Schibsted had to pay tax for the dividends.

There seem to be no hard feelings between Schibsted and Polaris Media. Note that Schibsted owns almost 30 percent of Polaris Media. One key in the trial is that the board of Polaris Media received a primate message explaining that Polaris would get part of the tax benefit made by Schibsted, which was not included in the signed deal with Schibsted.

The CEO of Polaris Media, Per Axel Koch, first became aware of the difference while attending a board meeting for Finn and read through its annual report, according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.