One.Tel founder drops rights issue claim

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One.Tel founder drops rights issue claim

Separate creditor lawsuit remains.

One.Tel founder Jodee Rich has reportedly withdrawn a $132 million claim against former shareholders James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch.

The claim centred on a $132 million share rights issue (RRI) that was cancelled by shareholders on the day One.Tel declared insolvency.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rich announced yesterday that "James [Packer] and I have resolved all outstanding issues between us".

The withdrawn claim was separate to another RRI lawsuit filed last month by One.Tel's court-appointed liquidator Paul Weston on behalf of creditors including Rich, Singtel Optus and Telstra.

Weston's claim was the result of an investigation that cost $11 million over almost seven years, and drew creditors' criticism for a lack of transparency over costs and proceedings.

The Special Purpose Liquidator stated yesterday that he could "make no comment on the motivation behind Mr Rich’s decision to settle his claim with Mr Packer and Mr Murdoch".

Noting that he was not aware of the settlement terms, Weston said Rich's claim was "for his own benefit and not for the benefit of One.Tel creditors".

"The proceedings I have recently served are brought on behalf of One.Tel creditors and are fully funded," he said.

"This action represents an opportunity for a substantial return to all 536 One.Tel creditors.

"I will continue to act, as I have always done, in the best interests of all One.Tel creditors both small and large."

At One.Tel's Annual General Meeting of creditors last month, creditors moved for Weston to resign, following a unanimous vote of no confidence at a November 2009 meeting.

Only the court - and not creditors - could dismiss the special purpose liquidator.

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