Industry News

Private’s Fired CEO Fights Back

Ilan Bunimovitz, 2 Large Investors Seek Injunction Against Private
By Rhett Pardon, from
Thu, Aug 12 2010 03:15pm PDT

LAS VEGAS — Former Private Media Group CEO Ilan Bunimovitz and two large investors have filed suit against the adult entertainment giant, claiming it is mismanaged by its present chairman and board of directors.

Bunimovitz is contesting his termination from the company because “it was taken in retaliation for his efforts to investigate self-dealing transactions by [Private Chairman Berth Milton] that were possibly contrary to the [Private’s] interests and violative of the federal securities laws,” according to a statement obtained by XBIZ.

The suit, filed at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, seeks an injunction over much of Barcelona-based Private’s business activities and seeks the appointment of a receiver.

A hearing over the matter begins Friday morning in Las Vegas.

Joining Bunimovitz as plaintiffs are stockholders Consipio Holding BV, which purports to hold 5.6 million shares of the company, and Tisbury Services Ltd., which owns 2.8 million shares. Bunimovitz owns 1.9 million shares.

The proposed injunction would enjoin Private from issuing any additional shares of stock, incurring any additional debt, disposing of any business assets outside of the ordinary course of business and making any loans to any officer, affiliate or director of the company.
It also would force Private from closing any bank or brokerage account and paying any bonus to any officer or director of the company.
Bunimovitz told XBIZ that he couldn’t comment on the claims but said, “We tried to be very clear in our case.”

Last month, Bunimovitz’s attorneys claimed there was no legitimate basis or cause for his purported termination. Milton, a long-time Private executive and board member, replaced Bunimovitz as acting CEO on July 19.

Private said Bunimovitz was terminated by the company under provisions allowing it to terminate the agreement for cause. But Bunimovitz said his termination was an act of retaliation in an effort to silence him.

Attorneys for Private were not immediately available for comment at post time.

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