Battery Plus sale disputed

The former owner of Battery Plus Inc. is launching a $40.5 million legal challenge to block the sale of the insolvent retailer. Antoine Chahine Badr alleges that the Laurentian Bank of Canada, which forced Battery Plus into bankruptcy protection in November, failed to deliver promised additional financing. Also named in the statement of claim filed yesterday is interim receiver Deloitte & Touche Inc.

The Toronto Star
February 5, 2002

Battery Plus sale disputed
Ex-chief launches lawsuit against Laurentian Bank
Steven Theobald

The former owner of Battery Plus Inc. is launching a $40.5 million legal challenge to block the sale of the insolvent retailer.

Antoine Chahine Badr alleges that the Laurentian Bank of Canada, which forced Battery Plus into bankruptcy protection in November, failed to deliver promised additional financing.

Also named in the statement of claim filed yesterday is interim receiver Deloitte & Touche Inc.

Badr alleges Deloitte took steps "designed to permanently injure Badr's and Battery (Plus') reputation."

In response, Laurentian, owed almost $7 million, filed an affidavit yesterday to dispute Badr's arguments, including his claim the bank had tried to force him to buy another retailer, Personal Edge.

He also claims he had been contacted by Radio Shack to buy Battery Plus for $20 million but decided against the offer after Laurentian promised to help him boost the business.

Badr alleges his father-in-law, Vince Taddeo, offered to pledge $3.1 million in real estate as collateral for financing but Laurentian refused the offer.

Laurentian lawyer Aubrey Kauffman said in an interview yesterday he was filing supporting documentation detailing Badr's relationship with the bank.

"It shows, in our view, a completely different story," Kauffman said.

"It shows that Badr was constantly in the need of money, constantly was trying to refinance and, unfortunately, wasn't able to do so," Kauffman added.

All three parties are to be in Ontario Superior Court today as Deloitte seeks approval for the $5 million sale of Battery Plus to Toronto-based Covington Capital Corp. and Pennsylvania-based Winner International Corp., maker of The Club car anti-theft device.


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