The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 17, 1999 · 40
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 40

Publication:
Location:
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 17, 1999
Page:
40
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D12 THE OTTAWA CITIZEN BUSINESS SATURDAY, JULY 17, 1999 n - 3 f p. wwb.-v"mw Hmm90mmf$ ijBniuMMiwK'wwupnwH ."ww-" - fflf''WwipifflfWMK t -1 1 a? lYSt n ' fi - i i ill MIKE STOCKER, FLORIDA SUN-SENT INEL He's one in 10 billion Pac Man champion Billy Mitchell Jr., shown in game. The father of three become the first person in Dania, Florida, is simply perfect. Mr. Mitchell the world to master the game, at a New Hampshire has accomplished a feat no other video game player arcade, something that game experts call a one-in-io has before he has played the perfect Pac Man billion phenomenon. Livent shareholder sues CIBC for wrongdoing Lawsuit claims bank failed to warn Michael Ovitz of company's financial state TORONTO Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz has filed a $20-million U.S. lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The suit alleges the bank knowingly provided fraudulent information that led to Mr. Ovitz's investment in Livent Inc., just months be fore the Toronto-based theatrical company co-founded by Garth Drabinsky filed for bankruptcy protection. The claim was denied by CIBC, one of Canada's biggest banks. "CIBC has never engaged in any sort of wrongful conduct or improper transaction with Livent," said a statement released by the bank. "At all times, we have acted at arm's length and are certain that all elements of our transactions with Livent were fully fair and open," the bank said. 'CIBC has never engaged in any sort of wrongful conduct or improper transaction with Livent' Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Statement reacting to lawsuit In a 30-page claim filed against CIBC, Mr. Ovitz alleges the bank's investment banking arm, CIBC Wood Gundy Securities Inc., worked with Myron Gottlieb, Livent's other co-founder, to "create false and misleading statements." Mr. Ovitz became the de facto controlling shareholder of Livent in the spring of 1998. Three months later, the new owners uncovered an alleged $ioo-million fraud involving numerous side deals and kickbacks. Numerous lawsuits have been spawned since then. Mr. Drabinsky and Mr. Gottlieb, who face criminal charges in the U.S. sternming from the alleged fraud, have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. In his court documents, Mr. Ovitz claims he was not aware of a deal that was signed by Wood Gundy and Mr. Gottlieb in December 1997. That's when Livent agreed to sell a 30-per-cent royalty interest in the U.K. and European production rights for the musical Ragtime and 40 per cent of the same rights for Showboat to Wood Gundy. In return, Livent received a non-refundable fee of $4.6 million. However, last August, Livent's new management team, hired by Mr. Ovitz, unearthed a second undisclosed agreement that stated Livent 1 MICHAEL TWEED. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Michael Ovitz became the controlling shareholder of Livent in the spring of 1998. Three months later, the new owners uncovered an alleged $ioo-million fraud. had agreed to repay $4.6-million to Wood Gundy by June 30, 1998. If Livent failed to do so, it would be required to pay Wood Gundy 10 per cent cf the adjusted weekly gross box office receipts from Ragtime's U.S shows in perpetuity. That would have amounted to $80,000 a week. In his claim, Mr. Ovitz states he was not aware of the second deal and that CIBC had "actively participated in the coverup" with Mr. Gottlieb. The bank's statement said CIBC and its broker had no fiduciary responsibility to inform Livent's board of the deals signed by Mr. Gottlieb. "We had no knowledge that certain elements of the December 1997 merchant banking transaction may have been concealed from Liven't auditors, directors or shareholders,' CIBC's statement says. Special to the Citizen, with files from The Canadian Press U "i m,' 1 t J it, u& 1 L Price Minutes Real Benefits $29 150 'Anytime Local Calling $49 400 "oam'n9 Charges in Canada No Contract $79 650 Per Second Billing $99 800 rnw.t. Call Waiting $159 1500 Call Forwarding Other rate plans Available on Digital PCS also available. or Analog k Our new RealTime plans give you everything - including choice. Case in point, we have six RealTime plans. All at our best rates ever. And every plan lets you call locally, wherever you are in Canada, anytime - with no roaming charges. Better still, each of your calls is backed by our excellent network and award-winning customer service. All together, it makes choosing any RealTime plan an easy decision. FOR YOUR OWN REALTIME CALL 1-888-4-MOBILE OR VISIT www.bellmobility.ca REAL RATES REAL FLEXIBILITY REAL MINUTES Mobility See dealer or retailer for details. Pricing subject to change. Per second billing applies to Digital PCS only. Not combinable with any other offer. Analog RealTime plans billed per minute. Your choice of analog or Digital PCS, phones not included. Bell Mobility Trademark of Bell Canada used under licence. RealTime is a trademark of Bell Mobility Cellular Inc.

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