Independent ATM operator Cashbox has been hit with a £2 million damages claim from Hanco, a cash machine vendor owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, according to a Financial Times report.
Cashbox was set up in September 2003 by Carl Thomas - a former sales director at ATM firm Hanco which was acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004 - and his brother Matt. The firm floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) last year.
Cashbox said last week that it had received an early stage bid approach that could lead to an offer for the business.
According to the FT report Hanco launched proceedings three years ago against Cashbox and Carl Thomas.
The report, which cites Cashbox's prospectus, says the firm is warning of "significant claims" from Hanco, including an allegation that Thomas "diverted a business opportunity from Hanco to Cashbox, namely a contract for the installation of ATMs with Thresher Group".
A summary judgment in Hanco's favour was handed down by the Masters' Chancery Division last November. The courts ruled that Hanco is entitled to summary judgment on liability against Thomas in respect of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, says the FT, as well as against Cashbox in respect of its assistance in bidding for a contract to supply cash machines to Threshers.
Thomas and the company are appealing against the judgment.
Hanco is seeking damages of £2m and is also claiming costs thought to be more than £1m, says the FT.
The case will be heard in the High Court on 21 February 2007.