The Ahern Family of Companies (Ahern) has served Tanfield a legal action to acquire the remaining 49 percent of Snorkel’s shares from Tanfield, claiming that Tanfield has not complied with its contractual obligations. Tanfield’s board has rejected the claim.

According to legal documents, the original deal in 2013 between Tanfield and Xtreme stated that Snorkel needed to achieve an EBITDA of $25 million within any 12-month period during the first five years of Ahern’s majority purchase, and when that was achieved, Tanfield would be entitled to a payment of $50 million for a further 19 percent of its shares.

According to documents, that financial goal was not achieved, and SKL Holdings, a company owned by Xtreme (part of the Ahern Group), has tried to exercise a call option for Tanfield’s ownership stake for an option price of $0 (nil). Tanfield said it did not agree with Ahern group’s claims ”and rejects the validity of the purported call option notice.”

Ahern said it has complied with its side of the agreement, which was to save Snorkel from going out of business.

Tanfield said it had tried to resolve the dispute amicably; ”however it has now received a copy of a Summons and Complaint, filed in the District Court, Clark County, Nevada, in which Snorkel and SKL seek to bring a claim against Tanfield in which they allege the Company has refused to comply with its contractual obligations in relation to the purported call option correspondence mentioned above.”

Tanfield is a 49 percent shareholder in the equity of Snorkel following the joint venture between Tanfield and Xtreme Manufacturing LLC, a company owned by Don Ahern of Ahern Rentals, relating to Snorkel, in October 2013.

ALH will report as more details become available.

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