March 4, 2015 Esmark Europe BV Files Lawsuit in U.S District Court Against Slovakian Businessman Peter Kamarás for Intentionally Sabotaging Esmark Europe’s Bid to Privatize Zelezara Smederevo Steelworks; Seeks Damages in Excess of $100 Million
Company Alleges Kamarás Misused Confidential Information, Engaged in Systematic Deceit and Disparagement of Esmark Europe for Personal Gain
PITTSBURGH, PA –Esmark Europe BV, Bouchard Group, LLC, and Bouchard Group Europe, LLC today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Slovakian businessman Peter Kamarás for breach of contract, tortious interference, misuse of confidential information, unfair competition, commercial disparagement and other claims as part of his systematic efforts to undermine Esmark Europe’s bid to privatize Železara Smederevo Steel Works.
In its complaint, Esmark Europe asserts that Kamarás throughout the process aligned himself as an investor and agent with Esmark Europe to gain its confidential information including management, operational, commercial and financing strategies for Železara Smederevo, while simultaneously undertaking through a series of actions and omissions to undermine Esmark Europe and its bid to privatize the mill for his personal gain.
The complaint alleges that Kamarás knew his companies had been supplying Železara Smederevo Steelworks with sub-standard iron ore and other materials at above-market prices, and such pricing practices and deceit regarding the quality and content of the materials were not part of Esmark Europe’s plan to revitalize the Železara Smederevo Steelworks. Kamarás sabotaged Esmark Europe’s bid because his over-priced raw material arrangements with the mill were in jeopardy if Esmark Europe was the successful bidder.
As the complaint alleges, Kamarás, ignored his duties of loyalty, good-faith-dealing and ethical business practices to Esmark Europe and its investor group partners by secretly devising a so-called “Plan B.” Kamarás’ plan resulted in the termination of negotiations with Esmark Europe to privatize Železara Smederevo, and allowed Kamarás to usurp Esmark Europe’s corporate opportunity to privatize the facility by leading a new management team for Železara Smederevo and, if successful, profiteering through his favorable iron ore arrangements.
According to the complaint, Kamarás could only achieve his end game by misusing confidential Esmark Europe information that he gained through a position of trust with Esmark Europe’s investment group. In addition, Kamarás took steps to recruit and convince members of the Privatization Commission to vote against Esmark Europe’s bid.
Among the other claims set forth in the complaint, Esmark Europe alleges that Kamarás breached his duty of loyalty as an agent for Esmark Europe; engaged in unfair competition; interfered with prospective contractual relations; engaged in commercial disparagement of Esmark Europe and its officers; and defamed and made false statements about Esmark Europe and its financing capabilities.
Esmark Europe, Bouchard Group Europe and Bouchard Group seek more than $100 million in damages, plus punitive damages.
Bill Keegan, Director of Communications
Esmark Europe, B.V.