The ongoing legal dispute between renewable fuels and chemicals company Aemetis and cellulosic and biorefining technology company Edeniq has “many years of litigation ahead”, according to Aemetis Chairman and CEO Eric McAfee.
In a statement issued last week, Edeniq announced that Aemetis’ claims had been dismissed on summary judgement by Santa Clara Superior Court. Judge Peter H. Kirwan ruled that Aemetis could not sustain a claim for breach of contract “because Aemetis did not deliver to Edeniq a commitment for financing the requisite payments”, according to the release.
In regards to a fraud claim made by Aemetis, Judge Kirwan held that Aemetis had not “identified nor submitted any evidence that any material fact was misrepresented or concealed” by either Edeniq, or its CEO Brian Thome.
The judgements marked the latest development in a dispute that started back in 2016, when Aemetis claimed breach of contract against Edeniq following a terminated merger between the two companies.
“Aemetis could not finance the merger, but instead of acknowledging that fact, they filed a baseless lawsuit in an attempt to buy time and to force us to accept any deal they wanted,” said Brian Thome, Edeniq’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in the announcement of the latest judgements on the case.
“The court’s order affirms our belief that Edeniq dealt with Aemetis with candour and professionalism throughout the parties’ efforts to merge and vindicates us after this long process.”
Back in March 2017, Edeniq launched cross-claims against Aemetis for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, intentional interference, and trademark infringement. These are set to be heard at a trial later this month.
According to the latest statement, Edeniq’s cross-complaint alleges that Aemetis fraudulently induced Edeniq to enter into a merger agreement it could not finance and seeks monetary relief to remedy harm it claims was caused by Aemetis’ interference with Edeniq’s business.
In an email to Biofuels International, Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis, said that his company’s claims against Edeniq were far from resolved.
“The Edeniq press release of a resolution in the Aemetis case against Edeniq for breach of contract is an exaggeration”, as Mark Twain may have said it,” explained McAfee.
“The fact is that the Aemetis case against Edeniq to enforce the valid acquisition agreement signed between the parties in 2016 has not gone to trial yet, or even finished pre-trial motions and stipulations, much less completed the multiple-year appeals process or been remanded for future trial on appealed issues that remain in dispute.
“And, further claims and counter-claims can be brought against Edeniq by multiple parties as the case moves forward. Unless a settlement occurs, the case has many years of litigation ahead before any final resolution of the Aemetis lawsuit is expected.
“Aemetis continues to be confident of the validity of its lawsuit. Extensive legal discovery in the case has uncovered significant additional facts supporting the Aemetis claims.”